With July 4th weekend just around the corner, people everywhere are finalizing their travel plans, confirming reservations, and stocking up their coolers. As with most holidays, you should expect to see record drivers out on the roadways. Alongside the increased number of motorists, Independence Day also sees high levels of alcohol abuse.

This year a record-breaking 3.5 million people plan to be traveling on/around America’s birthday. A global mobility analytics company, INRIX, predicts that drivers could face delays as much as four times their normal commute, with Wednesday, July 3rd being the worst day on the roads. Nationwide, delays are expected to increase by approximately 9%. Leading to July 4th weekend being one of the deadliest holidays for car crashes. That being said, you really can’t be too careful on the road. Follow these tips to help ensure that your road trip to goes as planned.

  • Make sure that your car is up to date on all inspections and required maintenance – especially oil changes and tire inspections.
  • Map your route out ahead of time along with completing research to see if you will encounter any road shutdowns due to holiday events. Additionally, consider earlier departure times and later returning times to help avoid heavy backups.
  • Remember to keep all valuables covered when stopping over. Boxes, suitcases, and electronics are just a few of the items that can spark a break in if left in plain sight. (If you are traveling with electronics and end up leaving them in the car, make sure you find covered parking as electronics malfunction in extreme)
  • Keep roadside assistance and insurance information handy. A valid insurance card and vehicle registration are required in case you find yourself pulled over for any reason.
  • Make sure your tank is filled before hitting the road. Keep an eye on your fuel levels and do not let it drop too low. You never know when you will find yourself stuck in a long back up without an exit or gas station in sight.
  • Remember that if you’ve had anything to drink, operating a vehicle is in no way okay. These days, it’s all too easy to order an Uber or other ride servicesor find an alternate way to get home. Police will be cracking down on those driving under the influence and will likely have checkpoints waiting for you along your route.

Be prepared for any roadside situation with this emergency kit:

  • Mobile phone and car charger
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Toolbox
  • Drinking water and snacks
  • Jumper cables

Although the statistics can paint the highway as a scary place, being a safe driver is all about being prepared and informed. Be smart, stay alert, and enjoy your holiday as you celebrate this great country’s independence. Happy Fourth of July!