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July 4 accidents and their common causes

July 4 may be a holiday, but New Jersey residents will want to be on the lookout for safety hazards while they're celebrating. Of all the days in the year, Independence Day is the worst for fatal car crashes. In fact, 40 percent of all highway deaths from 2007 to 2011 were caused by drunk drivers between the days of June 30 and July 4. This is according to data from Esurance and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The same data states that nearly 200 highway deaths occur every year in the same five-day span. Alcohol intoxication is not solely to blame; more people are on the roads for the holiday, and if they are traveling unfamiliar routes, they may get distracted by their navigation system or engage in risky behavior. AAA estimates that 37.5 million Americans will be traveling at least 50 miles from their homes during this year's holiday period.

Other accidents are caused by malfunctioning fireworks. Sometimes fireworks may not go off immediately. If people approach too closely, they may incur burns to their head, face, eyes and ears. Mishandling fireworks can burn the hands and fingers.

Those planning a barbecue or swimming party should recognize their specific dangers too. Undercooked meat can transmit foodborne illness, for example, and excessive drinking causes alcohol poisoning. Children and inexperienced swimmers should be watched carefully to prevent drowning.

Victims of accidents that they themselves do not cause, especially car accidents, can be eligible for compensation. To file a claim requires testimony and solid proof of the other party's negligence; with a lawyer, the process may go more smoothly. A lawyer might hire experts to uncover all the facts about the crash and reveal the extent of the victim's injuries. The lawyer may then negotiate for a settlement or litigate rather than agree to a lower amount.

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