The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that summer is the deadliest time to be on the road.  A number of factors can contribute to roadway hazards.  The financial advisor website WalletHub ranked Alabama the 45th worst state for summer road trips because of frequent storms, wet conditions, and long driving distances.  Heavy holiday traffic can make traveling more dangerous and teenagers average 44% more time behind the wheel during the summer than during the academic school year.  There are more bicyclists, motorcyclists, and construction projects.  Warm, pleasant weather this season can lure motorists into a false sense of security, which can lead to speeding, distractions, and even impaired driving.

At 55mph, your car will travel the length of an entire football field in just 5 seconds.  Remember to keep your eyes on the road and avoid texting or other visual tasks behind the wheel.  Keep an eye out for cars beside and behind your vehicle.  Plan ahead and allow yourself extra time to get to your destination so there’s no pressure to speed or drive aggressively.

Most importantly, never drive a car while impaired.  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data reports a total of 179 crash-related fatalities on July 4th, 2012; 44% of those deaths involved drunk drivers.  That number soared to 390 fatalities on Labor Day in 2012 with 38% of crashes involving an intoxicated driver.  Summertime parties and cookouts just aren’t complete without someone volunteering as a designated driver.

For more information on distracted driving, visit www.distraction.gov.

For more information on intoxicated driving, visit www.nhtsa.gov/impaired.

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