Friday, July 2, 2010

Have a Safe 4th of July !!

Independence Day honors the birthday of the United States of America and the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. It's a day of picnics and patriotic parades, a night of concerts and fireworks, and a reason to fly the American flag.
Typically this weekend is a time filled with family reunions, backyard cookouts and road trips. I have great memories of piling the kids into the car, playing car bingo and answering a myriad of questions, with the most popular being “are we there yet?” Keep in mind this was all before personal DVD’s were invented. With all these trips, I never realized that summer is the most dangerous time of the year to be on the road. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Fourth of July weekend is historically the deadliest for road travel in the US. Interestingly enough, an overwhelming percentage of Americans consider winter to be the most perilous driving season. Rural roads are particularly hazardous. Fifty seven percent of highway deaths occur on these back roads.
Alcohol is a factor in almost half of these holiday crashes. Emergency room visits for underage alcohol use will nearly double this weekend. Texans lead the nation in alcohol-related fatalities. This weekend, local police will be out in force helping to keep us safe. The best defense against a drunk driver is your seatbelt. Put it on. Even in the back seat. Do it for your family so you can spend even more holidays together answering those questions like “are we there yet?” Happy Fourth!

Mary Ann Contreras RN
Injury Prevention

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