COLUMBUS, Ga — Many of you have a long day of fun ahead of you, and probably, the last thing you want to think about right now is the return trip home. But with gas prices low and travel volumes high, you need to know you will be sharing the road with thousands of others.
AAA says drivers saved an estimated $20 billion on gas this year, compared to the Fourth of July travel period a year ago. That’s big motivation for travel, and people are taking advantage of the savings. In fact, about five million more travelers this holiday are vacationing now than during the recent Memorial Day holiday period.
Georgia State Patrol tells News 3 as of its midnight update, a total of five people have died on Georgia highways so far this Fourth of July travel period. Even though one death is one too many, troopers say this number is relatively low for a holiday travel period. However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says the Fourth of July is usually the most deadly day on America’s roads, even more so than New Year’s Day. The reason? Alcohol, according to the Institute.
To keep the roads as safe as possible, law enforcment officers nationwide will heighten patrols between now and tonight’s end of the July 4th holiday period.
“A lot more crashes, a lot more injury crashes, and unfortunately we do have more fatal crashes, and that’s why we are cracking down on the speed, improper lane changes, and that kind of thing,” says Trooper Joni Dodd, of the Ohio State Patrol.
To be sure you stay off law enforcement’s radar and make it home safely, be sure you don’t speed. If you have to be home at a certain time, leave early. The roads will be crowded.
Do not drink and drive. If you do drink, you must have a designated driver who has not had any alcohol to operate your car.
Stay alert. Do not text and drive.
Remember, the road is not a place for your rage. Be courteous and patient.
Buckle your seat belt. Police will pull you over for not wearing it.
Also, remember, Georgia law enforcement has begun an aggressive campaign to stop distracted drivers. Do not text and drive