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July Fourth weekend driving expected to be deadliest in 7 years

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Posted at 12:42 PM, Jul 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-01 12:53:31-04

Watch it out there.

This holiday weekend, more than 400 people are expected to die and nearly 50,000 injured on the road. That’s the most dangerous three-day weekend predicted by the National Safety Council since 2008.

"Drivers always need to be vigilant, but this weekend, focus on the safety of your family," said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council in a statement. "A few precautions can help ensure a memorable weekend. Spending the holiday with family is preferable to spending time in the ER."

Nearly 35 million Americans will taking a road trip over the Independence Day weekend, according to the American Automobile Association. That’s the busiest July Fourth drive since 2007.

The National Safety Council recommends the following safety tips for the long weekend:

  • Buckle up. An estimated 155 lives will be saved this weekend because of seat belts. An additional 99 lives could be saved if everyone buckled up.

  • Slow down. More speeding-related fatalities occur during the summer months than any other time of year.

  • Stay off the cell phone while driving. Drivers talking on cell phones are up to four times as likely to crash.

  • Place children in age-appropriate safety seats. Child restraints saved an estimated 284 lives in 2012 among children younger than five.

  • Don't drink and drive. If you do drink, have a designated driver or take an alternative form of transportation.

  • Stay engaged with your teens' driving habits. An NSC survey found many parents are more inclined to loosen household driving rules during the summer.  

  • Learn about your vehicle's safety systems and how to use them.

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