Happy 4th of July – hope you made it home alive

About 134 people will die on U.S. roadways this Fourth of July holiday, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Drive safe and put down the phone.

Drive safe and put down the phone.

That’s the average number of motorists killed in Independence Day traffic crashes between 2007 to 2011, according to data from the U.S. Transportation Department. That makes the summer holiday the deadliest day of the year on roadways.

“The main reason July 4 is the worst day is simply exposure,” Russ Rader, a spokesman for the institute told the Los Angeles Times this morning. “More people are driving more miles on summer days. You couple that with a holiday, and you have a higher likelihood of serious crashes.”

Allstate Insurance attributes the high number in part to distracted teenagers texting while driving. Teenagers accounted for 6% of crash deaths reported, “but continue to be particularly susceptible to distracted driving incidents,” according to an Allstate news release quoted by the Tiimes.

Drunk driving also appears more prevalent on the 4th of July than New Year’s Day, another booze-filled holiday which saw 601 deaths from 2007 to 2011, compared with a total of 670 on Fourth of July.

Common sense could help you and your family survive the weekend:  Obey traffic laws, buckle your safety belt, slow down, obey speed limits, put down your phone, and don’t drink and drive.