Travelers customer claims reveal Independence Day is the most dangerous summer holiday for American drivers. (Photo: Shutterstock)
Out of Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day, July Fourth is the most dangerous for auto accidents, according to personal insurance auto claim data from 2012 to 2016 from Travelers Cos.
Related: July 4th weekend traffic deaths seen jumping to highest since 2008
The data reveals there are 7% more auto accident claims over Fourth of July and the three days leading up to it, as compared to Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.
An increase in drivers on the road means there are more drivers who are distracted, tired or driving unfamiliar routes, leading to the increase in auto accidents, says Chris Hayes, second vice president of risk control transportation at Travelers Cos.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Fourth of July holiday has ranked on average as the deadliest day for drivers for the past decade.
Related: 4th of July 2016 by the numbers
Here are some summer travel safety tips from Travelers agents can share with auto customers:
Perform scheduled maintenance and inspections
If the “check engine” light is on or you have been delaying scheduled maintenance, take your car in for service before your trip. Be sure to inspect the spare tire to make sure it’s in good condition.
Related: Memorial Day kicks off the most dangerous season of the year on the road
Bring an emergency roadside kit
Stock your car with water and nonperishable food, a flashlight, a first-aid kit, jumper cables, reflective triangles, sunscreen, blankets, towels and road flares.
Preview the route
Familiarize yourself with the route before leaving. Relying solely on GPS can lead to distracted driving, which may result in dangerous last-minute turns and lane changes.
Everything that occupies your mind or affects your vision can contribute to distraction behind the wheel. Concentrate on the road and avoid distractions such as eating, reading maps, operating a GPS or using a cellphone.
Related: 15 fascinating characteristics and habits of American drivers
When traveling long distances, it’s important to rest to help maintain focus and avoid fatigue.
Never drink and drive
Have a plan if you choose to consume alcohol, whether it’s using a designated driver, ride-sharing or public transportation.
Related: 15 fireworks safety tips to prevent injuries and property damage
See more summer travel stats and safety tips from Travelers Cos. in the infographic below.
(Click image to enlarge.)
John is a Jacksonville native who grew up on the First Coast. He graduated from Bishop Kenny High School in 1975 and went to college at Florida State University where he completed a 4-year program in 3 years. John graduated from the Florida State University College of Business in 1978 and went straight into Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, John earned a position on the prestigious Law Review Board serving as its Business Editor. As a law student, John studied in the Oxford program. He also interned with the Florida Legislature working in the Florida House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee. John was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981.
John began his legal career as a law school intern in the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville in 1981. After his internship, legendary State Attorney Ed Austin hired John as a full-time Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties). As a prosecutor, John tried jury and non-jury trial on charges ranging from DUI to Murder.
In 1983, John moved from the State Attorney's Office to begin his career in private practice. He has practiced law for 30 years on the First Coast. For the last 20 years, John and his family have made Clay County their home.
John limits his practice to personal injury and disability cases. While there are many fine attorneys in Clay County, John is one of only a few Clay County attorneys who limit their practice to personal injury and disability cases. John takes pride in helping clients resolve injury claims in ways that avoid the stress, uncertainty, and the expense of unnecessary litigation.
John is the past President of the Clay County Bar Association and has served on the Board of the Clay County Bar Association from 2009-2013. He is an active member of the Florida Bar, and the Federal Bar of the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. He is also a member of the American Association of Justice, the Florida Association of Justice, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, and the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates.
Service to the Community
John is involved in the Clay County Community serving as a member and Director of the Rotary Club of Orange Park, of the Clay County Bar Association, and the Putnam County Bar Association.
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