The weekend of the fourth of July is typically one of the busiest American travel periods of the year, so don’t let it be the deadliest for you and your family. Many motorists take this holiday opportunity to travel far for an extended vacation trip, creating more traffic on the roads than any other. Let’s prevent July 4th accidents together! Learn more 4th of July travel tips here from Marietta Wrecker Service.
According to the Georgia Department of Public Safety in 2022, the final count of fatalities recorded on Georgia roads during the 78-hour travel period for the holiday weekend was 20. This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Georgia Hands-Free Law which became effective July 1st, 2018. Ever since the law’s inception troopers and officers have issued more than 84,000 Hands Free citations. Last year, troopers and motor officers issued 8,647 citations, 8,451 warnings, and made 321 driving under the influence (DUI) arrests. State troopers also investigated 295 traffic crashes that resulted in 171 injuries and 9 fatalities.
The Georgia State Patrol (GSP) will be on high-alert this holiday weekend with the goal of keeping fatalities and injuries at a minimum and respect the right to participate in Operation Zero Tolerance. This nationwide mobilization means that any driver found exceeding the legal limit for drinking while driving will immediately face criminal charges.
At Marietta Wrecker, we value your safety! We’ve put together a few tips to ensure your driving stays free from any kind of accident.
- Buckle Up — We’ve all heard the classic “click-it-or-ticket” phrase, but in the majority of all accidents seat belt save lives. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about 50%, however; people still don’t feel compelled to take the extra step to put them on. The CDC also indicates that adults who live in rural areas are 10% less likely to wear seat belts than adults who live in urban areas. Just because you might live down a road less traveled by, or one thats more familiar than others, does not mean you are immune to accidents. Another key concern are the factors that aren’t immediately in front of you. Make sure to double check all infants and children are properly secured in properly fitted car seats and booster seats. Don’t forget about any pets, grilling materials, and anything anchored on top of your car!
- Don’t Drink & Drive — Georgia is no stranger to drunk driving. Every state has laws defining driving impaired as a crime with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above a specified level, currently 0.08 percent (0.08 g alcohol per 100 ml blood). According to the CDC, one 12-ounce beer has about the same amount of alcohol as one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5-ounce shot of liquor. Drinking alcohol slows reaction time and impairs judgment and coordination, all skills needed to drive a car safely. The more alcohol you consume the greater you will be impaired. If you decide to drink — don’t drive! The 4th of July is a family event and leaves many people open to be designated drivers. You can also plan ahead with your spouse or family friend, deciding who will drive there and back. Remember, a holiday is not an excuse to drink and drive and the GSP will have no tolerance if you are caught. Keep family safety a priority.
- Prevent All Distractions — Everyone is tempted to send that “I’m on my way text”. While it is important to get the party started right away, think ahead to prevent all distractions and send your text before you leave. Georgia is still a hands free state, so talking on your cell phone or sending a quick text is illegal. Driving requires incredible focus. Other vehicles may be attempting to get in your lane, turning, or slowing down. In-car distractions can diminish your chances of driving defensively when you need to most. One or two seconds of distractions can negatively impact your life and the lives of others, so don’t try and split your focus between two things. Program your GPS prior to leaving or while stopped, never while driving! Ask your passenger to take care of the music suggestions, grab anything you need from the back, or even keep an eye out on extra guests you might be transporting. If you really need to, a list is always a great tool. Make sure that everything is accounted for so nothing surprises you! Here are a few of the top tips provided by Troopers:
- Observe Speed Limits – these tend to change depending on where you are in Georgia.
- Be Cautious on Roads Less Traveled – if you aren’t used to a road it could have something you aren’t prepare for, so drive slow!
- Drive Defensively – be prepared for anything, with two hands on the wheel at all times you’re ready to react in case of an emergency.
- Be Prepared! — Holidays have so many moving factors, so try to limit all the unforeseen ones. Before leaving, ensure that your vehicle is in good working condition. Take your car down to the nearest shop and get a tune up, check tire pressure, measure oil/fluid levels, and make sure your lights are functioning properly. Loading your vehicle appropriately is also essential. When loaded down with additional weight — such as passengers, luggage, and equipment — your car can lose stability. With the extra weight typically riding above a SUV’s center of gravity, the vehicle can tip over more easily. And what if an accident does happen? Well, be prepared with the number for a reliable tow company. Don’t let an accident ruin the weekend fun or put your liberty at safety — call Marietta Wrecker! We are able to provide you with roadside assistance in any situation or vehicle emergency. This may involve recovering an automobile damaged in an accident, returning one to a drivable surface in a mishap or inclement weather, or towing or transporting one via flatbed to a repair shop or other location. Marietta Wrecker Service provides light-duty towing of automobiles that are disabled. If you need a reliable and affordable towing service, give us a call today!
- Move Over! — If you are headed down the highway and see an oncoming accident or emergency situation on the side of the road, safely move your vehicle over to the next lane AWAY from the incident. This is not only a courtesy to the driver and crew involved, but as stated above, it is the law. Move Over Law: Georgia Code, Title 40-6-16. – The Georgia Move Over Law requires drivers to move-over one lane when possible if an emergency vehicle with flashing lights is parked on the shoulder of the highway. And if traffic is too heavy to move-over safely, the law requires drivers to slow down below the posted speed limit instead AND to be prepared to stop.
We hope these tips will help with your holiday travel, and give you freedom from accidents. Happy Fourth of July from your family at Marietta Wrecker!