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The Fourth is the first

The Fourth of July means celebrating the countries birthday, backyard cookouts, fireworks. Because many people in Houston drive to parties, fireworks, the Gulf, or go on a vacation, there are more people on the road. Potentially, many parties may start their celebrating early in the day, and they may have a drink or two during that period. All of this can combine to create the right conditions for car accidents.

And what may be surprising to many, is that means the Fourth of July ranks first as the most dangerous day for driving based on research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Even more than such well known holidays as New Years Day, the Fourth because it is frequently associated with long weekends and travel to vacation destinations, which equates to greater exposure to traffic and the risk of car accidents.

Distraction also has a role, as smartphones and other electronic devices maintain their siren-like attraction for drivers. The Allstate Foundation, in a recent study, has found that 75 percent of teens have texted, a dramatic increase from the 49 percent in 2009. We can expect that absent draconian laws prohibiting the use of phone in cars, these numbers will continue to increase.

The Allstate Foundation notes that for those younger than 35, car accidents remain the number one cause of death. Putting down the phone is the only way to prevent it from distracting a driver, especially young, inexperienced teen drivers.

There are enough "normal" distractions caused by other drivers on the road. Stay safe and put the phone away when you are diving. And live to enjoy the Fourth next year.

Source: Allstate Foundation, "July 4 Continues as Deadliest Day on the Road for All Americans," June 25, 2013

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