The July 4th holiday consistently ranks as the deadliest driving day of the year nationwide every year. And as Independence Day approaches in South Florida, accident attorney Adriana Gonzalez of Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. hopes this trend changes for the better this year.
"Independence Day should be a cause for celebration in Florida and throughout the country, not a day of mourning," Gonzalez said. "Far too many fatal car accidents occur on July 4th every year in Florida. And worst of all, most of these accidents often can be prevented."
Between 2000 and 2013, the Fourth of July ranked as the deadliest day on the road nationwide, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), according to article about driver safety published by Yahoo News. ("10 Worst Days for Driving," Yahoo News, May 12, 2015)
The large number of vehicles on the road is one reason why July 4th ranks first in fatal car accidents by day nationwide each year, Yahoo News noted. Another contributing factor is alcohol-related accidents. Specifically, July 4th ranks as the second deadliest day of the year for drunk driving accidents nationwide each year, with 42 percent of accidents involving drivers over the legal alcohol limit, according to IIHS data. (The deadliest day of the year for drunk driving accidents nationwide is New Year's Day.)
Drunk driving accidents can easily be prevented on July 4th, according to Charles Cartwright of Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. "Drivers simply need to make a plan for July 4th," Cartwright said. "Designate a driver so no one has to worry about whether they can drive. And if you don't have a sober driver, call a cab or remain where you are until you're sober."
Gonzalez agreed. "There's no reason drivers' lives should be put in danger on Independence Day," Gonzalez said. "We've handled many car accident cases involving accidents caused by drunk drivers. And in every single instance, every single drunk driving accident could have been prevented if the driver under the influence simply chose not to drive."