Common Fourth of July Accidents

The Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day, is a significant holiday in the United States. It commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, by delegates from the 13 American colonies, which marked their formal separation from British rule. The day has been celebrated as a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. 

The Fourth of July is seen as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades, and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues. It's a time when Americans come together to celebrate their freedom and express their patriotism. 

The historical importance of this day can't be overstated. However, it is also important to note that Independence Day itself and Independence Day weekend can be dangerous as many negligence-related accidents often occur. Below, we discuss some of the most common Fourth of July accidents that happen.  

Firework Accidents  

Misuse of fireworks often leads to accidents during the Fourth of July celebrations. These can result in burns, injuries to the hands and fingers, and even blindness or death in severe cases. Negligence can occur if the person operating the fireworks is not doing so responsibly or if the fireworks are faulty. 

Car Accidents & Other Motor Vehicle Accidents  

Independence Day has been one of the deadliest days for drivers due to increased traffic from people traveling for vacations or celebrations. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 2017 to 2021, 1,460 drivers died in motor vehicle accidents during the Fourth of July weekend.  

Many of these accidents are alcohol-related, as 38% of those drivers were believed to be drunk. Driving under the influence isn’t the only reason that many negligence-related accidents occur. Other common causes of motor vehicle accidents during this time include:  

  • Drowsy driving  

  • Speeding and other reckless driving habits  

  • Inexperienced drivers  

  • Increased traffic  

Alcohol-Related Accidents  

Beyond just car accidents, alcohol can lead to a variety of other accidents due to impaired judgment and coordination. This could include fights and other types of crimes. If a person suffers injuries in an assault or crime, the perpetrator of the accident and owner of the property where the accident occurred can face civil consequences.  

Boating Accidents  

Many people enjoy spending the holiday on the water. However, accidents can happen. Common causes of such accidents include:  

  • Operator inattention. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, operator inattention is one of the most common contributing factors in boating accidents. This includes failing to pay attention to water conditions, other vessels, and changes in weather. 

  • Operator inexperience. Lack of experience can lead to poor decision-making and an inability to react appropriately in emergency situations, leading to accidents.  

  • Excessive speed. Just like on the road, excessive speed on the water can lead to catastrophic accidents. It reduces the operator's time to react to unexpected situations. 

  • Alcohol use. Operating a boat under the influence of alcohol impairs judgment, balance, and coordination, increasing the likelihood of accidents. 

  • Machinery failure. Equipment failure, often due to poor maintenance, can lead to loss of control and subsequent accidents. 

  • Poor weather conditions. Boating in poor weather conditions can increase the risk of accidents due to reduced visibility and unpredictable water conditions. 

  • Improper lookout. Having a designated lookout can help identify potential hazards. The absence of a proper lookout can lead to collisions with other boats, debris, or swimmers.  

Burns or Other Grilling & Food Accidents 

Outdoor cooking is a popular activity during the Fourth of July, but it can also lead to accidents if not done safely. This includes burns from grills or campfires. It is also important to note that even food poisoning is possible during this holiday.  

If you suffer food poisoning because of improperly packaged or handled food, you may be entitled to compensation under product liability law. However, you will need to prove that the distributor or manufacturer did not do their due diligence when producing or handling the product.   

Consult with Our Attorney 

At the Law Office of Joseph A. Lazzara, P.C., our attorney can advise you of your legal options and next steps if you have been hurt due to someone else’s negligence. From helping you file an initial claim to calculating your damages to representing you in court, our firm can support you throughout the entire process.  

Learn more about how our firm can help you by calling (720) 809-8262 and scheduling an initial consultation.