fireworks

Comprehensive Guide to the Fourth of July in Austin

Your Guide to Fourth of July Events in Austin, TX

Beat the Holiday Traffic

Getting out of town may sound like a fun way to escape – you’ve got the long weekend, right? But don’t think for a second you’re alone in your aspirations to escape town. Why? Insurance giant, AAA estimates that as a nation we have saved over $20 Billion in low gas prices since the price drop in 2015. Low prices on gas mean more people on the road. So it’s no surprise this year has been flagged as the “busiest 4th of July” by AAA.

Low gas prices affords many Americans the ability to travel this holiday season.

By many measures it’s a good thing that Americans will be out celebrating Independence Day in 2016. It means the economy has recovered somewhat from the injuries of the 2008 recession, it means that small rural businesses will see traffic as Americans travel to see loved ones or for a few days at the lake. But when it comes to traffic safety more cars spells more traffic and greater car accidents.

More Cars = More Accidents

AAA predicts 42 million Americans to take the road well traveled this Fourth of July Holiday weekend. Will you be one of them? Experts say that travel in 2016 is up overall – and that we’re on our way to having the most-traveled summer ever.

Roadtrip: 36 Million Americans expected to drive out of town this July.

Experts say it will be the first time we have broken 2007’s highest-travel-record just one year before the stock market crash. Economists may be looking at uncertainty in the markets, but a look to the highway says American consumers are feeling confident.
What we know about America’s summer travelers:

  • 84% of Independence Day travelers will drive to their destination.
  • 3.3 million Americans will fly to their out-of-town destination.
  • AAA expects 370,000 drivers to call for roadside assistance. Don’t like your keys in your car. Three words: keys, wallet, phone. Keys, wallet, phone.

Before you accidentally get caught in traffic, plan ahead. With many others on the road, there’s sometimes no escaping the traffic. If you find your highway is more parking-lot than freeway, fight road-rage not the other drivers. How and when you travel may lessen the injurious traffic. Follow our tips to beat the traffic:

  1. If you have a flexible schedule or extra vacation days, leave early and stay late. Most travelers will only get one or two days off. Travel the same beaten path, but earlier and later than your not-so-lucky fellow drivers.
  2. Consider traveling at night. If you have good eyesight, plenty of rest, and a reliable vehicle, driving your car at night could save you time on the road. Remember: the most dangerous accidents happen at night. Fatal crashes are also four times higher at night than during the day.
  3. Check your local listings and avoid any large events. In Austin, the festivities are going on all weekend long. Is there a parade going on near your favorite shortcut? Better to check now on one of Austin’s best kept events listings: Do512.

Fireworks Cause Injury

We know, it’s that one time of year when you’re pretty sure the neighbor won’t call the cops on you for lighting off a few strings of firecrackers. This year, El Nino has wet the ground and made lighting off fireworks safer in some instances. However, your safety around fireworks comes with risks.

Statistics on Firework Injuries

Fireworks injure 10,500 people each year. Of those 10.5k, the most common injuries from fireworks are:

 

  • 36% Hands and Fingers
  • 19% Head, Face and Ears
  • 19% Eyes
  • 11% Trunk/Other
  • 10% Legs
  • 10% Legs
  • 5% Arms

This data comes from the U.S. Product Safety Commission. And in 2016 we’ve already had a warning about the reality of these firework injury statistics.

Teen Speeks About Firework Accident that Damaged his Hand

In 2015, a teen lost much of his left hand when a firework went off in his hand. His mother, who was not on site when the accident occurred, received a phone call. Now, the teen is speaking out publicly as a warning to other kids and their parents.
Corey Smith advises younger kids to take cautions he didn’t:
“Be careful. Make sure adults are around – stuff I didn’t do.”
Authorities site more powerful consumer grade explosives newly available to the public in Michigan as one reason the accident may have happened.

If you plan to set off fireworks, take precaution to celebrate a safe and injury free 4th of July.

5 Tips to Prevent Firework Injury

  1. Wear protective eye glasses and gloves.
  2. Read the instructions
  3. Only allow adults to handle or light the fireworks.
  4. Be ready in case of fire. Have a bucket of water or sand on hand.
  5. Set off fireworks in an open area

4th of July Fireworks In and Near Austin

The 4th of July destinations for fireworks vary by size and splendor but there’s one guarantee: everything is bigger in Texas, including fireworks for independence day. Instead of setting off your own show, attending an official show is safer, less expensive (usually free) and fun for the whole family.

Find information about Austin’s Best 4th of July Celebrations.

Getting Around Austin on 4th of July

Getting home safe is a priority for the city, especially during festive holiday weekends. That’s why the Austin Police Department announced that a No Refusal weekend will be in effect for the fourth of July weekend starting on Friday at 6pm and ending at 5pm Sunday. A No Refusal weekend allows APD to issue blood search warrants, an ordinarily lengthy process, immediately for someone suspected of drunk driving who refuses to consent to a breath or blood sample. There are many ways to get home safely, whether it’s the bus, taxis, Uber or Lyft, or drive-your-car services. For details on a sober ride home, see our previous post, 7 Ways to Get Home Without Driving Drunk.

Call to Have Austin Car Accident Lawyers on Your Side

The Fourth of July can be an exciting time, but with fireworks in the air and alcohol in the blood, it can also be dangerous. Safety is key, but accidents happen. If you have been the victim of a car accident or a fireworks mishap, contact Jason McMinn for a quick and free evaluation of your case. Call us at 512-474-0222, use the live chat on our website, fill out the form on this page, or email info@mcminnlaw.com