Fourth of July is almost here and families all over the United States are starting their preparations. For me, the Fourth is never complete without a strawberry/blueberry American Flag carefully arranged atop a bed of cool whip on vanilla sponge cake. Sparklers will be bought, bottle cap rockets will be launched, and bomb pop popsicles will melt all over white tee shirts. All in all, the Fourth promises to be a fun packed weekend for families and individuals celebrating the peak of summer and our nation’s independence.

But for some, this weekend will be marred by accidents and injuries, disrupting plans and ruining barbeques everywhere. Indeed, the Fourth of July weekend is not just known for its patriotic desserts and colorful fireworks, the Fourth also a sinister reputation for being one of the most dangerous weekends of the year for Americans. Here’s why:

Motor Vehicle Accidents. According to statistics newly released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the United States is experiencing some of its highest traffic related incident rates in sixteen years, making this Fourth of July Weekend particularly dangerous. Why is this weekend more dangerous than next? The National Safety Counsil suggests this is due to an increase in individuals travelling for the holiday weekend and the increase in alcohol consumption due to holiday festivities. [1]