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Drunk driving, fireworks make July 4th a deadly holiday

Iowa residents will want to know what risks to look out for on the Fourth of July so that they can celebrate the holiday safely and responsibly. Esurance and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety both state that July 4th is the single worst day for fatal car crashes, so drivers should be extra careful.

Part of the reason for this spike in fatal crashes is that more drivers are on the roads. AAA estimates that this year, 37.5 million Americans will be traveling 50 miles or more between June 30 and July 4. Another factor is alcohol. Esurance and the IIHS claim that 40 percent of all highway fatalities between 2007 and 2011 were caused by drunk drivers during the Fourth of July holiday period (June 30 to July 4).

Drinking to excess also puts people at a risk for alcohol poisoning. With many people planning barbecues for Independence Day, food poisoning is another possibility as undercooked meat will contain salmonella and other bacteria.

July 4th is also known for its fireworks injuries. Mishandling fireworks could lead to hand and finger injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission, while getting too close to malfunctioning fireworks could result in burns to the head, face and ears. Lastly, young and inexperienced swimmers are prone to accidents and will require constant monitoring.

After being involved in car accidents, victims will want to find out how the other drivers were responsible in order to be eligible for compensation under personal injury law. It would be a good idea for victims to have lawyers evaluate their cases, though, since they may have been partially negligent as well. Once an attorney determines a case is valid, he or she could bring together evidence against the other driver and negotiate for a settlement out of court, litigating if payment is denied.

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