“It’s time for a road trip.” Most Americans (not all) love these words. Especially in the warm, long days of summer around July 4th when most of us have the itch to spend time outdoors with family and friends.

Unfortunately, the three days that make up this year’s Independence Day celebration rank as the three most deadly combinations of days in the year with up to 40 per cent more highway fatalities according to the federal Fatality Analysis Reporting System.

What makes these THREE days so deadly? The answer is simple.
Drowsiness – Drunkenness – Distraction. Better known as the THREE Ds.

This the hardest of the THREE Ds to control simply because after a day in the sun and heat you may get drowsy even if you had proper rest the night before. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over 100,000 collisions per year are a result of drowsy driving. Here are few tips to help you stay alert:

  1. Take a few minutes to “cool down and calm down” when you get in the car.
  2. Wipe your face and hands with a cool damp cloth.
  3. Have a bottle of water or refreshing drink before you begin driving.
  4. If you have a long drive, plan a stop within the first 30 to 45 minutes.
  5. If you begin to get sleepy, pull over!

DRUNK (or Buzzed) DRIVING:
This D is easier to control. There is very little that hasn’t already been said about the deadly combination of drinking alcohol and driving. Break these simple rules at your peril:

  1. Moderation – “a few” means NONE.
  2. Designated Driver – if you simply cannot follow Rule Number 1 designate someone to drive. THAT PERSON HAS TO BE SMART ENOUGH TO NOT DRINK AT ALL!!!
  3. Cab/Limo – if a designated driver is unavailable, common sense dictates a cab or taxi service is the answer.

Of the THREE Ds this is the easiest to control. As you must know by now after listening, hearing and watching the countless university studies, national organizations’ safety letters and government Public Service Announcements talking and/or texting while driving is dangerous!!!

There is no conversation worth killing yourself, family or the people around you – just say “Cell No.”

Safe driving and have a wonderful July 4th holiday.