According to the American Automobile Association, it is estimated that 41.9 million people will travel during the July 4th holiday period; the most in eight years.
As a friendly reminder, the Highway Patrol is advising motorists to be careful as they enjoy the July 4th holiday. Motorists who slow down and travel at posted speeds will not only increase their chances of arriving at their destination safely but will also conserve fuel. Speed is the leading cause of traffic collisions and fatalities in the state. Troopers will be cracking down on speeders during the holiday and will be using speed timing devices to assist them in enforcing the speed laws. There will be an increased presence of troopers on the interstates, major four lane highways and rural paved roads across North Carolina.
Last year, the Highway Patrol investigated 7 fatal collisions and 257 injury collisions during the July 4th holiday period. This included 3 fatal collisions and 48 injury collisions due to impaired driving.
“Throughout the Independence Day weekend, the Highway Patrol will be working to insure that everyone has a safe and happy holiday.” said Col. Bill Grey, Highway Patrol Commander. “We continually work to educate the public about the hazards of impaired driving; unfortunately, some people will still choose to get behind the wheel while impaired.”
With many celebrations across the state, drivers should make sure they are designating a sober driver. The Patrol would also like to remind motorists to wear their seatbelts and use the correctly fitted child safety seats, as they are the best defense should you be involved in a crash.
In addition to focusing on impaired drivers, troopers will also target aggressive drivers who tend to cause the most crashes. The aggressive driver has been identified as those drivers who flagrantly violate the motor vehicle laws, including but not limited to: excessive speeding, following too closely, erratic lane changes, safe movement violations, texting while driving and other forms of reckless endangerment.
Citizens may report crashes, drunk drivers, stranded motorists or other highway situations to the Highway Patrol by dialing *HP (*47) on their cellular telephones. This is a toll free call that connects the caller with the nearest Highway Patrol communications center.