With summer kicking into full swing, and July 4th holiday celebrations everywhere – accidents will be too. Whether you are staying close to home or traveling, it’s good to prepare for the unexpected. Fourth of July weekend is packed with fun parties and cookouts, but it also ranks as one of the highest accident rates of the year. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the issues both you and we, as injury lawyers, can expect.


As one of the highest accident rates of the year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) notes that July 4th averaged 118.4 fatal car accidents between 2010 and 2014, compared to the normal average of 28 fatal accidents per day. This is an even higher proportion for motorcyclists since many fail to wear protective helmets. The leading factor for these high accident rates is driving under the influence. On July 4th, alcohol consumption on average attributes to 47 percent of fatal crashes. Although this is a time to celebrate, it is important to stay responsible. In order to ensure the safety of you and your guests, take the proper precautions with designated drivers and/or the option to stay the night.


July 4th celebrations are a great time to light sparklers and fireworks, but according to FEMA, sparklers alone attribute to 25 percent of all emergency room personal injuries related to fireworks. For this reason, many counties and states have specific laws regulating firework usage, so it's important to first make sure that fireworks are legal in your area. If unsafely managed, fireworks can lead to fires, severe accidents, and personal injuries. To avoid complications, ensure adult supervision and keep firework activities away from your home, deck, and trees.


Barbecues and cookouts are a Fourth of July staple. If you haven't started up your grill yet this summer, it's important to make sure that it's properly working. According to NFPA, an average of over 16,600 patients visited the emergency room between 2012 and 2016 because of a grill-related injury. Grease buildup, defective grills, gas leaks, and propane tank malfunctions can lead to severe burns and other injuries. To avoid any fire hazards, prepare for your July 4th celebration by scrubbing down your grill. To ensure your grill is properly functioning, check the propane tank, safety valve, rubber tubing, regulators, and seals, then replace whatever appears cracked or worn-down. If obstructed this can result in unexpected explosions. Keep everyone safe by closely monitoring the grill when in use and be sure that children and pets stay at least three feet away from the grill at all times to avoid burns or other serious accidents.


With Lake Champlain and the array of watering holes, streams, and ponds nearby, there are plenty of fun places to bring your family for the Fourth. Since many of these places lack proper lifeguard supervision, it is important to take proper safety measures to reduce the risk of drowning or other water-related accident. Maintain the buddy system, check to see what's below the surface, watch those around you, and don't swim somewhere above your level. Sometimes even the best swimmers get dragged by the current or fail to see the rocks below the surface.


If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury or accident, the personal injury attorneys at Brady/Donahue can help you. Brendan and John understand how difficult the impact of a personal injury can be. Our attorneys will fight aggressively for justice and the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation, please call us today at 802-855-2001 or fill out our quick contact form.