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July 4: A dangerous day for distracted driving

The 4th of July is your chance to spend time outdoors, soak up the warm sun and catch up with friends and family members. Heading to a lake, grilling and watching fireworks can create a perfect summer day. Alongside prepping your cooler and packing your day bag, it’s just as important to plan for getting to your location at the start of the day and home safely when it's all over. 

Driving factors

It's no secret that over a holiday (and holiday weekend) there’s going to be a lot of people traveling. And, unfortunately, not everyone will be focused on being a safe driver. That’s why it’s important to remain hyperaware of what’s going on around you during your commute—both to your destination and on the trip home. Remember to factor in longer drive times because of the busy roadways, too.

If you’re traveling at dusk or night, don’t let the lights of nearby fireworks pull your attention away from the safety of your driving lane. You’re putting yourself and fellow travelers at risk if you’re more focused on fireworks than the danger of hitting loose gravel on the shoulder or drifting into oncoming traffic. Stop your vehicle in a safe place to enjoy any light shows you might stumble upon. Whatever you do, don’t drive distracted.

On top of these normal 4th of July driving concerns, remember, everyone you’ll meet on the road is dealing with their own unique circumstances. Some are super focused on the driving task at hand, while others may let thoughts dwell on worries or wander through to-do lists. Or, you might pass by an inexperienced or out-of-practice driver whose poor self-confidence could lead to a serious accident. Make sure the driver of your vehicle feels comfortable and confident behind the wheel.

CONSIDER THIS: Increased accidents during COVID-19

What can you do? 

Enjoy the day! Just travel safely by keeping the factors we’ve talked about in mind. Let’s recap:

  1. Allow extra time so you’re not in a hurry on the already-busy highway.
  2. Think ahead by designating a safe, focused driver to get you to and from your destination.
  3.  Pull over to watch any fireworks that might be taking your attention off the road.
  4.  Before setting out, have everyone in your group take the pledge be a focused driver. This will help work as a reminder to not only avoid distractions but to also have an amazing holiday—because your life is worth it!

No matter your experience level as a driver, following these steps will help ensure you're as attentive as possible while driving. Make a difference with positive change and take the pledge to stay off your electronic devices while behind the wheel. You're worth it!

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