Let’s make this July Fourth, the “Safety First” July Fourth! Independence Day is the Holiday for Family, Friends, Fun and Fireworks! There could not be a better time for enjoying picnics, parties and cook-outs. Florida abounds with civic events and parades. Wonderful community festivities, bands and dazzling fireworks displays await the public. Therefore, it is most appropriate for Metts Legal to begin this week’s blog with a salute to the United States of America. We also wish you, our clients and friends, a happy and inspiring celebration of the Birthday of Our Nation.
Safety Must Balance Celebration on July Fourth
Having stated our genuine good wishes, we also must express our concern for your safety. Because we work with personal injury cases, we know drivers should take their responsibility seriously when they are behind the wheel—and even more seriously in Florida’s July 4th Holiday traffic.
July Fourth Safety on Florida Roadways and Breaking News
It is ironic that we were preparing the vehicular safety topic for this July Fourth blog when news agencies reported a vehicular story involving a new lawsuit in a Florida car accident. You might have noted that tennis star, Venus Williams has been accused of “wrongful death,” by one of the victims in her June 9th car incident.
The police did not give her a ticket at the scene of the accident, but the police report stated the accident was Venus Williams’ fault. Likewise, the police report stated she had violated the right of way of the other car in an accident, driven by Linda Barson with Jerome Barson, her husband, as her passenger.
Victim’s Widow Claims Wrongful Death in Suit
CNN stated, “Mrs. Barson is suffering intense grief and doesn’t know how she will go on,” said Michael Steinger, Linda Barson’s attorney.
Her husband of 35 years was struck by Venus Williams, who was reported to be “at fault in a car accident which ultimately resulted in Mr. Barson being hospitalized 14 days with multiple surgeries which resulted in his death.”
Although the Williams’ car crash was not a July 4th accident, the news announcement of the lawsuit startled us by coming at the time of our writing an article on driving safety.
Undoubtedly we will be reporting more details concerning this and other lawsuits based on the legal term wrongful death. For now, the accident and the impending wrongful death lawsuit are timely examples that tragedy can happen in the blink of an eye on our nation’s roadways.
Safety and Tragic July Fourth Traffic: Eye-Opening Florida Statistics
Did you know that the Fourth of July Holiday is the deadliest driving holiday of the year? Some statistics can be boring, and some can be shocking. However, the Florida traffic numbers are just plain tragic.
Statistics for 2016 are not yet solidified officially, but we do know a mind-numbing total of 3,091 people died on Florida roadways in 2016. Eight of them died exactly on July 4th of last year. 29 people lost their lives in 2011 over the July 4th Holiday. In fact, if you average the last 5 years of Florida traffic fatalities over the July 4th holiday, 18 people per year died.
Safety Tips: The Metts Legal Driver’s Primer for July Fourth Holiday
With the help of online research at the Florida Highway Patrol resource, we hereby present our rendition of a brief Driving Safety Primer. We hope it helps you to help defeat the dangers of our roadways. Keep in mind, you will be dealing with 13 million other American drivers who will be on the road during the holiday.
A. “A” is for At the Limit: Attorney Derek Metts and his staff advise you to drive at the speed limit. We know many drivers who get behind the wheel in a scattered, stressed state. They fall prey to the temptation to rush, rush, rush. Metts Legal suggests you leave early for your July 4th holiday event. That choice is smarter for your own safety and the safety of the others you meet on the road.
B. “B” is that life-saving seatbelt. Believe it or not, that belt is your first, best, line of defense in the case of a crash. And it’s the law. So, buckle up.
Safety Tips: What You Don’t Know About July Fourth Drinking:
C. “C” is for Cut the Drinking. You don’t have to be a teetotaler; just do not mix alcohol and gasoline. You can avoid an accident, a DUI ticket, and even death, with these handy drinker’s mini-rules:
Stop drinking alcohol 1-2 hours before leaving the party or event. Do not drink on an empty stomach. At your party, remember, every drink you sip need not be alcohol. Alternate cocktails with water or soda.
D. “D” is for a Designated Driver. If you drink at an event, ask, bribe or hire a non-drinker to drive you home or pick you up from the party. (Okay, you probably know this one!)
E. “E” is for “Efficient” tires. Sometimes your life depends on the tires on your car. We’re not saying they must be brand new or top of the line, but please check their tread and air pressure for basic safety. Also, we advise you to check the efficiency of the other mechanical and electronic parts of your car.
The Most Difficult Safety Rule for July Fourth or Any Ordinary Day:
F. “F” is for “Focus.” This might be the most difficult letter in our short primer. Stay focused on your driving, free from distractions like your phone or your radio.
Distractions need not be electronic. The chatter of your friends can blur your focus. Even the hamburger, coffee cup or cigarette in your hand can take your mind off the road for a second. And it takes less than a second for a crash to happen.
Again, Metts Legal takes this opportunity to wish you and your family A Safe and Happy —Independence Day!