Fourth of July Safety in New Orleans
The Fourth of July is here and it’s time to celebrate America’s birthday! Invite family and friends over, barbecue some delicious meats, down some tasty beverages, and enjoy a fireworks show. Unfortunately, this celebration is also one of the most dangerous days of the year and this year’s festivities are particularly unpredictable due to numerous COVID-19 issues.
Most people assume fireworks are the main safety threat on the Fourth of July. The little-known truth is the Fourth of July holiday is dangerous for other reasons as well. From a higher incidence of auto accidents and personal injuries to burn injuries from grills, pool accidents, and beyond, all sorts of threats loom on a day designated for fun and reverence.
If you or a loved one are hurt during the Fourth of July festivities, reach out to our New Orleans personal injury attorney right away.
Do Not Let an Injury Ruin Your Fourth of July
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Fourth of July is the most dangerous day of the entire year to get behind the wheel. There are plenty of slightly buzzed and completely inebriated drivers on the roads, going to and from parties, fireworks displays, and other holiday-related events. Even if you do everything right when driving, another person’s poor decision can ruin your holiday as well as your life.
Aside from the fact that many drivers may be under the influence of alcohol and drugs, driving on the Fourth of July also poses a risk simply because the roads are busier than normal. Many people are going somewhere, be it a party, a community fireworks display, a family picnic, or even the grocery store for hamburgers, hot dogs, water, ice, etc.
The increase in traffic makes an auto accident that much more likely. You can do your part to keep the roads safe by driving sober and adhering to the speed limit. Additionally, you should report potentially inebriated drivers to the police.
Holiday Driving Tips
If you are planning a road trip, do some preparatory work to enhance your vehicle’s safety. Let a mechanic take a close look at your vehicle before you embark on the holiday road trip. This evaluation should include a check of your tire pressure, coolant, and oil.
Coolant is especially important for the summer. It prevents vehicles from overheating when in the midst of snarled-up traffic on blazing hot roads.
Your holiday trip may prove that much safer and less stressful if you travel on the days preceding or following the Fourth of July. Furthermore, driving during off-peak hours, such as the early morning, will prove safer as fewer vehicles are on the road. Perhaps more importantly, fewer inebriated drivers are likely to be on the road as the sun is rising.
Auto accidents are certainly a danger to consider on and around the July Fourth holiday. However, fireworks are the top cause of injuries on this special day. Fireworks damage more than the hands that hold them. Most fireworks shoot upwards, making the face (especially the eyes) that much more vulnerable to injury. Injuries stemming from fireworks range from head, neck, or hand trauma to retinal detachment, corneal abrasions, and burn injuries.
If you plan on using fireworks this holiday, do not let your kids near them. Only a mature and responsible adult should set off fireworks. Onlookers should observe the light display from a minimum of 50 feet away. If anyone at your party suffers an eye injury, call 911 right away. Do not apply pressure, rub, or rinse the injured eye as it could worsen the injury. If your kids are insistent on participating in the fireworks display, consider letting them hold a sparkler for a short period of time under close adult supervision.
The Latent Threat of Swimming Pools
It can be easy to fall into the trap of assuming your swimming pool is a harmless place where only fun can occur. In reality, it only takes a few seconds to turn a happy Fourth of July pool party into one that proves deadly. Even a small pool for children or animals can lead to drowning.
A toddler can drown in merely a couple inches of water. If you have any type of pool, hot tub, or other source of water in your backyard, it is your responsibility to make it as safe as possible.
Larger swimming pools can also lead to all sorts of injuries. Aside from drowning, common swimming pool injuries include abrasions, fractures, and injuries to the spine and neck. You can decrease the risk for pool accidents by being proactive.
Keep a watchful eye on your pool. If you have to leave the backyard for any reason, have another adult who is capable of swimming observe the pool activity.
Let everyone know about the pool’s safety rules (such as no running by the pool, no swimming while inebriated, and so on). If there are any children or inexperienced swimmers, provide them with life jackets.
If your pool has a shallow end or any portion less than six feet deep, let swimmers know well ahead of time so they do not attempt to dive into these parts of the pool. It will also help to learn the signs of drowning, take a CPR course, and discourage heavy drinking at your party.
Be Careful Around Your Grill
If you plan on barbecuing this Fourth of July, you are not alone. Nearly every Fourth of July party features tasty meats, corn, and other delights from the grill. Do not leave your grill unattended after lighting it or turning it on. The barbecue should be stationed far away from your home and other objects to reduce the chances of a fire.
Do not put your barbecue in your home as the smoke is dangerous and will spread throughout the house and sicken those inside. Move all Fourth of July decorations far away from the barbecue so they do not catch fire. Keep a fire extinguisher by the barbecue just in case the flames rise out of the unit.
The Issues of Alcohol and Premises Liability
Louisiana’s premises liability law mandates that property owners provide a safe area or warn others about potentially unsafe conditions. If anyone is injured on your property as a result of Fourth of July festivities and it can be proven you failed to provide a relatively safe environment, you could be sued.
This means an individual who consumes alcohol at your party and is hurt can sue you even though he or she was not sober at the time of the injury. Anything from a slip and fall to a dog bite to falling debris or decorations that cause injuries qualify as grounds for a premises liability lawsuit.
Food Poisoning Is a Legitimate Fourth of July Threat
Most people think of disgruntled restaurant employees or food service workers with poor personal hygiene as the cause of food poisoning. Though it is certainly possible to fall ill from tainted food when eating out, there is also the potential for food poisoning at your Fourth of July party. Foodborne illnesses are the result of bacteria-laden food or the presence of other substances.
You can prevent food poisoning by limiting food exposure to fresh air to an hour or less. So make sure everyone is out of the pool and ready to eat when serving dinner.
If guests will eat at different times, let everyone know food that has the potential to spoil will be in the refrigerator until the point in time when the majority of party-goers plan on eating.
Our New Orleans Personal Injury Attorney is Here to Help
Do not assume you are on your own after you suffer an injury. It is still possible to obtain compensation if it can be proven another party acted in a negligent manner. Contact our New Orleans personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your injury.
We will help you gather evidence, pinpoint the optimal legal strategy for your unique case, and fiercely advocate on your behalf.
Give Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys a call at (504) 345-1111 to schedule a free consultation. Our office hours are 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to take your call. If you prefer to contact us online, click our LiveChat feature and one of our friendly representatives will help. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by contacting our legal team. We do not charge fees unless we win your case, and consultations are free.
The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.