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This weekend marks the most historical holiday in our nation. Independence Day means fireworks, barbeques, sales at the shopping malls, parades, trips to the shore, Philadelphia’s Welcome America Celebration, and other summertime favorites. With July 4th Falling on a Monday this year, The extended weekend gives us extra time to enjoy as many of these events as we can. But, as we hustle around in our vehicles from place to place, we must not forget that this busy travel period is also one of the deadliest.

“Every traffic crash involves three elements – the driver, the roadway, and the vehicle,” says Central PA Auto Accident Attorney Jim Ronca. “Nationally and locally the vast majority of all traffic crashes involve some kind of driver error so drivers can greatly impact July 4th traffic safety by driving defensively.”

Jim Co-wrote "Top 10 Safe Driving Tips for July 4th Weekend" with Joel Feldman, of , and organization devoted to ending distracted driving. The article offers the most basic, yet most necessary tips that we, as drivers, should take to keep ourselves, our families, and other individuals safe this holiday weekend.

Top Tips before hitting the road this weekend:

Make sure your vehicle is in working order. Check the Lights, Oil, Tire Pressure, Windshield wipers, etc.

One you know your vehicle is ready, it’s time to load the cargo. Make sure all items are loaded properly and securely. This is most important for SUV’s which can become less stable with more equipment.

More precious than luggage, make sure your pets and every passenger, including the driver are buckled in securely. Pets should be secured for the ride in crates with straps or bungee cords, while our two legged passengers should be secured with seatbelts. Don’t forget car seats for the little ones.

Now that everyone is secured in their car, program your GPS if you are using one. Do not attempt to program this while you are driving, as this will only cause a distraction. You need to Stay Alert and Stay Focused. This means no texting or using your cell phone. If you get lot and need directions, or need to contact someone in the event of an emergency, pull over to the side of the road. Pull over to rest stops for a meal. Do not attempt to have a meal while behind the wheel.

Remember to observe speed limits while driving. Driving at an accelerated speed makes it more difficult to stop for pedestrians or sudden traffic.

Although you may have made it to your celebration in one piece, please do be mindful of the ride home and watch your alcohol consumption. If you plan to drive again that day, please be mindful to keep your Blood Alcohol Level below the Legal Limit of 0.08 %. If it becomes clear that you had to much to drink, hand your keys to a designated driver who can safely get you to where you need to go.

While we can follow all of the recommended safety tips, we cannot be sure of what the other drivers doing. In-car distractions can diminish your chances of driving defensively when you need to most. Act like your life depends on staying alert and driving defensively; it does.

Feldman and Ronca’s Entire Article can be viewed at

Fore More Information on Driver Safety, please visit End Distract Driving at

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