The July Fourth holiday weekend is one of the most popular family getaways, a great time to drive to the beach, lake or a friend's backyard barbecue. It's also one of the most deadly times of the year on our roads.
An insurance industry analysis of data for the ten years from 1995-2005 shows that the day July 4th is actually the single most deadly day of the year, while July 2nd and 3rd are not far behind. Since the July 4, 2008 falls on a Friday, law enforcement officials are especially concerned that this year's Independence Day holiday could be a very deadly one.
To combat this, the Governors Highway Safety Association is funding extra enforcement efforts focusing on such safety issues as seat belt use, speeding, drunk driving, and an activity not enough drivers think is dangerous -- driving with one hand while holding a cellphone in the other. Talking while holding a cellphone is dangerous enough, but it is simply incoprehensible anybody is idiotic enough to take their eyes off the road long enough to either to dial or text message. But they do. And those people are beyond dumb. They are flat out dangerous.
Five states have laws prohibiting driving while talking on a handheld cellphone -- California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Washington, plus the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands. The rules in California and Washington go into effect on July first, in time for the deadly driving days around the Fourth of July.
Four states ban text messaging while driving -- Alaska, Minnesota, New Jersey and Washington, and other states have introduced similar legislation.
Great drives are safe drives. This Fourth of July weekend, slow down -- you'll save gas and you'll drive more in control. Don't drink and drive. Don't text and drive. Don't dial and drive.