Increased traffic volume over July 4 could mean more crashes

It’s always important to drive especially carefully over holiday weekends to avoid┬ácar accidents. Memorial Day and Labor Day are notorious for the number of deadly crashes that occur, and it should be noted that this July 4 is going to be a busy one on the roads as well.

For the first time in several years, more Americans will be traveling for the holiday, which falls on a Wednesday this year. Over 42 million Americans are expected to travel to enjoy Independence Day festivities at least 50 miles away. About 35.5 million of them will travel by car.

That’s apparently a 42 percent increase over the number of motorists traveling that far in 2009, when the recession was probably at its peak. Now, falling gas prices may be encouraging people to travel and take a five-day weekend away from home. The average price for gas sits at about 15 cents lower than it did at this time last year.

The risk for car accidents, of course, increases as well. Over the July 4 weekend last year, there were 146 alcohol-related crashes in Pennsylvania that took the lives of six people. Authorities will be out in earnest over the holiday week to go after drunk drivers. Members of DUI task forces are already ramping up patrols and running checkpoints.

The holiday travel period is defined as July 3 through July 8. Please drive safely and look out for drivers who are not doing so.

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