Traveling Safely Over July 4th Holiday Weekend
Posted on June 29th, 2018 by Zane Cagle
Independence Day Holiday–Most Dangerous Weekend on the Roadways
Since the Fourth falls on a Wednesday this year, we may have two actual celebration weekends prior to the Fourth and the weekend following.
While last weekend was horrible for road fatalities, the upcoming Fourth of July weekend is usually destined to be the most dangerous road travel weekend. Since the Fourth falls mid-week, it is a safe assumption that traffic will be heavy this weekend and the weekend following the Fourth. When traffic increases, motor vehicle crashes are more common.
During the 2015 Fourth of July holiday, 146 people were killed in drunk driving crashes. While travel numbers are high over the holiday weekend, an estimated 43 million Americans will travel, it is also estimated that 68 million cases of beer will be sold over the weekend. We know that driving and drinking do not mix, but there are as many as 146 traffic fatalities (according to NHTSA) and of those, 41% were caused by driver who were legally intoxicated. Be responsible and don’t drink and drive. We all may celebrate and many will drink–just make a safe travel plan!
In order to prevent crashes, be courteous, polite, obey road signs and never drink and drive.
MO State Troopers Participate in C.A.R.E.
Many people take their vacations around the first week of July. There are parades, concerts, festivals, picnics and many other events including fireworks. The official travel counting period will begin on Tuesday, July 3, 2018 at 6 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, July 4th. In reality, many people will be celebrating the holiday beginning this weekend through Sunday, July 7th, 2018.
Because the holiday actually falls in the middle of the week, motorists should really assume that traffic will be extremely heavy the next two weekends. The Missouri Highway Patrol will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E. (Crash Awareness & Reduction Effort). This effort enforces Missouri traffic laws, in addition, to begin available to assist motorists. Troopers will be watchful for those who speed and always looking for drivers under the influence.
If You are in a Crash or Your Vehicle Stalls on the Roadway, You Should Call 911 Immediately
The MO Highway Patrol does not just look for those breaking the law, but they are also very encouraging of each motorists to call emergency personnel should they become stranded or involved in a motor vehicle crash, even if it is minor. The very reason the MSHP wants to be notified is so they may assist the motorists and prevent other crashes from occurring due to a crash or a stranded motorist. The likelihood of you being hit while on the side of the interstate is high if you are a stranded motorist. Tragically, it happens far too often.
For Everyone’s Safety, Call the Authorities
No matter how minor the crash, notify the authorities. We recommend doing this for a number of reasons. One, the time you spend checking to see if someone is hurt before you call can be the minutes separating life and death. Call 911 immediately rather than waiting.
Authorities will document the crash occurred. I cannot tell you how many people I talk with daily who merely “exchanged information”. When you just exchange information, you are operating on the assumptions that one, the person is being honest with you; two, they have valid insurance coverage; three, assuming they have a valid license and four, you assume that you will be able to contact them again. Those are a lot of assumptions. If you are hurt or have much damage, those false assumptions can sink your claim. Contacting the authorities make the crash a legal record and may make the difference later if the other driver decides to deny they were even there. It is surprising how often crazy stuff like that happens.
- Fail to call the police
- Failure to report crash to your insurance company
- Failure to seek medical treatment
- Accept a settlement too soon or accept an unfair settlement
- Failure to consult an experienced car accident attorney.
On the Road or on the Water, Avoid Drinking and Driving
We always remind everyone to pay attention as inattentiveness is the number one cause of crashes. Boat crashes and car crashes due to driving under the influence are a leading cause of crash and one that is completely avoidable. If you are on the water in a boat, a personal watercraft (Jetski etc) or on the roadway, drive sober.
Call an Attorney Sooner than Later
So, you are on holiday when you are involved in a crash. Obviously, you have to seek medical attention first and make arrangements to get home. Before you start talking with any auto insurance company about your injuries, you should absolutely contact an experienced car accident attorney.