July 4th is the deadliest day for drivers, study finds - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

July 4th is the deadliest day for drivers, study finds

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Whether you're going to watch fireworks, trekking to the beach, or just driving down the street for the 4th of July, you're at risk on the roads.

"The biggest concern I have is drivers texting," says Jaret Logan, a father from Greenville. "I see a lot of people distracted, not paying attention, making unsafe lane changes and it's a big concern."

Bonnie Powell, a woman traveling through Greenville Thursday says, "Drunk driving is probably the biggest concern."

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently found July 4th is now the deadliest day for drivers.

There are, on average, 134 road deaths on the holiday each year – that's 40 more deaths than on other days.

"The weather's nicer, it's warmer, more people are out, more people are drinking, more people are at parties," NC Highway Patrol Trooper Steven Ziemba explains as reasons for more crashes.

There's also more potential for drunk drivers as 41 percent of accidents on July 4th are alcohol-related.

To keep you safe, troopers like Ziemba are amping up patrols and checkpoints all weekend along the busiest highways. 

"Driving aggressively, speeding, weaving, these are all signs of impaired driving," he says. "So it's important if you're going to drink or consume any alcohol, make sure you have a sober driver."

Ziemba says putting down your cell phone, following the speed limit and wearing your seatbelt are other proactive ways to protect yourself.

And remember your actions affect everyone else on the road.

"Slow down, pay attention, and remember there are small children out there and be careful," Logan warns his fellow drivers.

More tips from Allstate:

· Teens are watching: 50 percent of teens reported seeing their parents using a phone while driving.
· Do as I say, not as I do: Interestingly, only 34 percent of parents admit to making and answering phone calls while driving.
· Teens feel comfortable speaking up: 85 percent of teens say they would speak up in a car with someone who was driving in a way that made them feel scared or uncomfortable.
Allstate urges Americans to do their part to make roads safer for all families during the Independence Day holiday. Here are three simple ways that parents and teens can help to have a safe holiday:
· Talk together about driving early and often. Parents should discuss the risks and responsibilities of driving with your child at a young age, and keep talking with their teen before, during and after the licensing process.
· Don't rush the training process. Just because teens have a permit or license doesn't mean they are ready for every driving condition. By easing into the training process, both parents and teens will feel assured they are more prepared for a variety of driving situations.
· Never text or drive distracted. Parents should be positive role models when they're behind the wheel. All drivers can pledge not to text and drive, and help reduce distracted driving deaths and injuries. Parents and teens can take the pledge together at www.facebook.com/XtheTXT



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