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Posted in Personal Injury on June 28, 2022   |  by Gary Burger

The 4th of July is the Most Dangerous Holiday Weekend

The 4th of July is the Most Dangerous Holiday Weekend. Burger Law wishes everyone a happy and safe 4th of July weekend. This is a great time to take a quick trip out of town and catch up with family and friends. Hundreds of thousands of Missouri and Illinois residents flock to lakes, parks and bars to celebrate and unwind in the grueling summer heat. However, because of the sheer number of people on the roads and public lands, the 4th of July has been found to be the most dangerous and the deadliest holiday of the year. We urge everyone to celebrate freely while keeping the safety of themselves and those around them as a priority. If you have any questions about safety tips, or have been injured because someone else broke the rules and did not respect your safety, call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT or reach out to us online.

What Makes the 4th of July More Dangerous?

Any holiday that encourages drinking and large celebrations, such as New Years' Eve, is going to be more dangerous than a typical Tuesday. But there are several reasons the 4th of July holiday is more dangerous than even the other holidays:

More People on the Roads

Based on historical data, the National Safety Council predicts there will be between 360 and 573 deaths and approximately 52,7000 injuries from car accidents during this coming 4th of July weekend. Long weekends send people throughout the U.S. on the roads as they are a great time to travel to see old friends and family, hit the beach or just get out of the town for a few days. However, more people on the road invariably means there will be more traffic accidents, especially when fatigue from longer drives becomes a factor. More in-city traffic can make the roads more dangerous for bicyclists and pedestrians as well. Missouri and Illinois are tied for the ninth most dangerous states to drive over the 4th of July holiday.


There were an estimated 11,500 injuries and nine deaths in firework accidents in 2021, according to data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Seventy-four percent of those occurred in the month between June 18th and July 18th. There's a reason the City of St. Louis reminds its residents that setting off fireworks is illegal and dangerous in the city.

Boating and Swimming Accidents

Missouri and Illinois combine to have over 3,468 lakes and 139,088 miles of river, making boating and swimming activities a pleasurable summer activity for residents of both states. July 4th is the busiest boating holiday in the U.S. and often the deadliest. Just like with auto accidents, more traffic can also mean accidents, and many beaches don't have lifeguards on duty over the holiday weekend.

Alcohol Consumption

Americans typically spend around $1.5 billion on beer and wine on the 4th of July. While drinking alcohol is a common way to celebrate, it's important to remain responsible and not overindulge in a way that puts yourself or anyone around you in danger. There are more drunk driving fatalities in July than any other month, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

How to Stay Safe Over the 4th of July Holiday

Now that you know the dangers, it's important to know how to avoid them and what you can do to stay out of harm's way. Below are six safety tips for having fun over the upcoming weekend while staying safe:

  1. Follow the Rules — While it's natural to feel extra-independent on our Independence Day, the rules are in place for a reason. Follow local laws concerning the use of fireworks, as well as state and federal laws regarding driving and boating while intoxicated, speeding and distracted driving. When it doubt, use common sense.
  2. Respect Others — The roads and public lands and waterways are for everyone. Do what you can to give other groups space and not put them at unnecessary risk of harm, for example boating too close to swimmers.
  3. Assign a Designated Driver — Whether on the road or in a boat, make sure there is someone who is sober and won't have their reaction time, reasoning skills or motor skills impaired by alcohol or other drugs.
  4. Buckle Up or Wear a Life Jacket — Seat belts save thousands of lives per year, while it's estimated that 80 percent of boating deaths could have been avoided with a flotation device.
  5. Look Before You Lock — 38 kids under 15 die each year from being left in hot cars. While no one would purposefully leave a child in a car, it's always best to double-check before setting up the picnic area.
  6. Take an Alternative Mode of Transportation — If you're going somewhere close, consider walking, biking or taking public transportation to get there instead of adding one more car to the road.

Personal Injury Lawyer in Missouri and Illinois | Burger Law

Of course, you can do everything you can to keep yourself and others safe, but still be injured because of someone else's negligence. If that happens, you are entitled to compensation, but will likely need help to get it. Our law firm offers numerous free resources such as legal books and our personal injury calculator. With offices in Chicago and St. Louis, we are well-suited to serve the injured throughout Missouri and Illinois. We are the highest- and most-reviewed law firm in the Midwest, and to date have secured over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Talking to us is free, so there's no risk in reaching out to talk to us about your case. Call a personal injury lawyer at Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online.