Celebrate A Safe Independence Day Weekend

Getting behind the wheel after having one too many is always a bad idea, but especially during a holiday weekend when traffic accidents are more likely. Already one of the most heavily traveled holidays, the AAA Hoosier Motor Club forecasts a nearly 18 percent increase nationally in July 4th-related car travel from last year it this time. And Indiana state troopers along with local police will step up their patrols during this year’s long weekend. The federally funded Operation CARE (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) will put about 150 more state police officers on Indiana highways during the statistical counting period for America’s birthday celebration that starts midnight Friday and ends midnight Monday.

According to Indiana State Police records, last year there were 83 alcohol-related crashes in Indiana that injured 41 people and killed one person. Overall, alcohol apparently was a contributing factor in 13 percent of the July 4 period crashes that resulted in injuries in 2009.

State police say their weekend crackdown will concentrate on stopping drunk or impaired drivers hopefully before a highway accident happens. Troopers will also be on the lookout to enforce child seat belt laws.

Additional roadway safety tips from the state police include getting plenty of rest if you plan on any long-distance driving, avoid tailgating, and call 911 if you see any suspicious or reckless driving activities.

Social drinking may be commonplace during holiday parties for some people, but please take sensible precautions. For example, leave the car in the garage if you can, or make sure that your family has a designated driver who stays sober at the picnic, party, lake, or other get-together.

Best wishes for a safe and happy July 4th holiday from Young and Young.

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