Safety First: Celebrating While Avoiding a July 4th Accident
Filled with the aroma of a saltwater breeze, along with burgers and hot dogs grilling over a barbecue, eventually the long stretch of the summer’s day settles into a warm night’s sky, illuminated by a colorful array of fireworks: Independence Day. This annual tradition is a cherished holiday that Orange County locals look forward to each year.
To celebrate our nation’s independence, we have compiled a list of fun activities taking place throughout Huntington Beach, as well as some recommended tips for staying safe during the coveted July celebration.
Tips to Keep in Mind
Car accidents and drinking and driving accidents occur more frequently during the holidays, especially during the summertime. Here are some safety precautions to keep in mind.
- Drive defensively. Remain aware of surroundings and anticipate the actions of other drivers. For instance, drunk drivers are more likely to speed, swerve between lanes, and fail to follow traffic signs.
- Avoid the roads during peak hours. Generally, certain times of the day are not safe for driving. During the spring and summer, between 8:00 PM and 12:00 AM are the most dangerous.
- Beware of distractions. 4th of July firework displays can distract pedestrians, drivers, and bicyclists, preventing them from paying attention to their surroundings.
- Supervise children closely. Children are especially vulnerable to injuries during the holiday. They will need to be closely monitored, especially on congested streets in Huntington Beach.
- Always buckle up. Studies show that seat belts are 45% effective in preventing fatalities among car passengers.
- Designate a sober driver. Whether it’s a friend or Lyft or Uber driver, designate a DD. Surcharges are imminent during the holidays, but the repercussions for driving while intoxicated will have major consequences.
What to Do in Huntington Beach for the 4th of July
The Huntington Beach 4th of July Celebration is a 118-year-old annual tradition. The event is a great way to celebrate Independence Day which the entire family and friends can enjoy. Here is what Surf City, USA has in store this year.
Main Street Block Party
The block party will commence on Main Street with the city mayor, Tony Strickland, followed by live entertainment from local Orange County bands.
Where: Main St.
When: Friday, June 30th from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Carnival and Pier Festival
The festival will consist of more than 70 vendors, featuring craft booths, retailers, food trucks, carnival rides, live music, games, and more.
Where: Main St. and PCH (Pacific Coast Highway)
When: Saturday, July 1st – Tuesday, July 4th from 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM
1st Annual Huntington Beach Cornhole Tournament of Champions
The first annual cornhole tournament is open to all ages and will come with cash prizes, with a $5,000 award for the 1st place winner. Register here.
Where: Huntington Beach Pier
When: Saturday, July 1st and Sunday, July 2nd beginning at 12:00 PM
Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast
Runners participating in the Surf City 5K Run and their families are invited to partake in the Pancake Breakfast, hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Huntington Beach.
Where: Lake Park, 1035 11th St.
When: Tuesday, July 4th at 7:00 AM
Huntington Beach Surf City Run 5K
The run will take place along the parade route, along Pacific Coast Highway. The event is open to all ages. To sign up or for additional information, visit the official site here.
Where: 2000 Main St.
When: Tuesday, July 4th at 7:00 AM for the Residents 5k, 8:00 AM for the Open 5k, 8:15 AM for the Stroller 5k, and 9:00 AM for the Kids Fun Run
Huntington Beach 4th of July Parade
As one of the main events, the coveted parade will cover a 2.5-mile route, consisting of more than 200 registered participants.
Where: Main St. and PCH
When: Tuesday, July 4th at 10:00 AM
Fireworks Over the Ocean
To close out the festivities, a special fireworks display will be held over the iconic Huntington Beach Pier. The event is free and can be viewed from the beach.
Where: Downtown Huntington Beach
When: Tuesday, July 4th at 9:00 PM
4th of July Celebration Parade Route Closures
Unexpected detours and street closures may cause increased traffic, resulting in speeding drivers rushing to reach their destinations. Therefore, be prepared for reckless driving. Please plan accordingly and allow extra time for travel.
Here are the road closures and parking restrictions for the Huntington Beach 4th of July parade and fireworks show:
- PCH will be closed from Goldenwest St. to Beach Blvd. starting at 5:00 AM on July 4th
- Detours along PCH and cross streets: Goldenwest St., Beach Blvd., and Garfield St.
- Twin Dolphin Dr. will be closed from 5:00 AM to 2:00 PM
- PCH will be open to traffic by 2:00 PM
- The first two blocks of Main St. will remain closed until after the fireworks have concluded
Parking restrictions in the Downtown Area
- City beach parking is only accessible at Beach Blvd. and gates open at 5:00 AM
- Pacific View Ave. will be open for access to the Hyatt and Hilton hotels
- The Huntington Beach Pier will be partially closed during the day and completely closed by 5:00 PM
- Fireworks will be launched from the end of the pier
A 2020 report conducted by US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found that there was a 50% increase in firework injuries and fatal firework accidents than the previous year.
Additionally, there were approximately 15,600 people treated for fireworks injuries, including severe burns to the head, face, ears, eyes, fingers, and hands. Many of these accidents are preventable and can be avoided. Here are some effective recommendations to celebrate safely.
- Never allow young children to play with fireworks
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move away quickly
- Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks
- Never point or throw fireworks at anyone
- Douse spent fireworks with water before discarding them
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area and only use consumer-grade fireworks
- Never use fireworks while impaired by alcohol or drugs
Data Surrounding the Holiday
Research shows that holidays are notoriously dangerous for personal injury accidents due to two factors: car travel and alcohol consumption. Based on this data, the National Safety Council (NSC) can estimate the injury accidents that are anticipated to occur during the holiday.
Regarding the 4th of July accident reports, the NSC estimates over 600 fatal car accidents this year in the US. There are also estimated to be 70,600 non-fatal personal injuries from car crashes, with a confidence interval of 58,800-83,400.
In 2021, alcohol-impaired driving accounted for 31% of fatal accidents and spiked to 39% of fatal accidents during the 4th of July period, making it one of the highest percentages for drinking and driving accidents amongst all of the major US holidays.
Coast Car Accident Lawyers
However you choose to celebrate, the personal injury attorneys at Coast Car Accident Lawyers wish you a safe and memorable Independence Day. To get in touch with our legal team, please feel free to contact us at (657) 845-6420 or by e-mail at [email protected].