OPELIKA, Ala. – The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency says the official travel period for Fourth of July began at 6 p.m. Friday and runs until midnight of Fourth of July.
According to AAA, 44.2 million people are expected to travel this Fourth of July travel period, which is a 2.9 percent increase from last year. The ALEA says during the travel period, there will be increased traffic, which could result in increased crashes and fatalities.
So far this year, troopers have worked crashes involving 320 deaths. Last Fourth of July, troopers worked crashes involving eight deaths.
“For us, it’s really and truly not a lot of fun because so many accidents that we work, particularly the ones with serious injuries are avoidable,” Capt. Bobby Kilgore of the Opelika Police Department said. “If someone had done something a little differently, they wouldn’t be in that position. Most of these things are avoidable if you pay attention, watch what your doing and focus on your driving.”
Drivers are urged to plan for traffic, take their time, buckle up, drive sober, not follow too close to cars in front and avoid using cellphones.
“When you look at the summer holiday period, such as Memorial Day or the Fourth of July, you have people that are wanting to enjoy recreational activities and wanting to go to the beach and lake, but it’s also unfortunately a popular drinking holiday,” Cpl. Jess Thornton of the ALEA said. “When you do that, that’s a deadly combination if you decide to do it irresponsibly.”