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Stay safe on the water (and land) this Fourth of July weekend

The Fourth of July is one of the best times of the year to celebrate being an American. If you are like many New Jersey residents, then you will be celebrating with friends and family at BBQs, picnics and bodies of water.

However, while the holiday is known for patriotism and good times, it is also known as one of the most dangerous times of the year. As we discussed in our previous post, highway fatalities tend to spike over the Fourth of July holiday, with many of them involving drunk drivers.

But highways aren’t the only places that are dangerous. Boating is enjoyed by many people over the Fourth, and safety needs to be the No. 1 priority in order to avoid a serious accident. Just like drunk driving is a threat on the roadways, drunk boating is a threat on the waterways.

The U.S. Coast Guard reports that impairment contributes to many fatal boating accidents, and it is important to remember that it is illegal to operate any vehicle while impaired, including a boat. In fact, it is against federal law to operate a recreational vessel with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or above.

Another major danger the Fourth of July presents is fireworks. Although we all love a good fireworks show, it’s when everyday citizens try to put on a show themselves that accidents happen. For that reason, New Jersey does not permit the sale of fireworks to the public.

Of course, there are still many people in the state who travel elsewhere, like Pennsylvania, to purchase fireworks. If you are celebrating with private fireworks, keep these safety tips in mind from the National Safety Council:

  • Young children should not handle fireworks of any kind.
  • Teenagers should only be allowed to use fireworks while under close supervision by a sober adult.
  • Do not allow horseplay around fir
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket.
  • Never set off fireworks in a glass or metal container.
  • Have a first aid kit and water handy.
  • Wear eye protection when lighting fireworks.
  • Never aim fireworks at a person, animal or structure.
  • Never try to re-light a dud.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for lighting fireworks.

With all of that said, have a fun and safe Fourth of July. If an accident should occur, make sure that your rights are protected by speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area.

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