MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) released an alarming stat ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.
The agency states that 273 people have died in traffic related incidents in the state this year. Even more alarming, many of these deaths may have been preventable.
ALEA says of those 273 fatalities, 236 of them were traveling in vehicles equipped with seat belts, but only 88 individuals were buckled up at the time of the crash. (Only 1 of 2 children ages 3 and younger were restrained.)
ALEA is warning drivers to buckle up – no matter how short the drive. ALDOT says surviving a crash is much more likely when wearing a seat belt. Latest stats from Drive Safe Alabama show that almost 60 percent of people dying in crashes on Alabama highways are not wearing a seat belt.
As an added precaution during the heavily traveled Fourth of July holiday, the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) is doing its part for road safety by having no temporary lane closures on Alabama interstates after noon on Tuesday, July 3 through midnight, Wednesday, July 4.
Although ALDOT construction work zones will not be active during the holiday, work zone materials along the road and reduced speed limits will be in effect in many areas. Drivers taking to Alabama roads for the Fourth of July holiday should allow extra time to reach their destination.
“As Alabama highways fill with travelers around the Independence Day holiday, ALDOT is asking motorists to make safety the priority,” said Allison Green, Drive Safe Alabama coordinator, ALDOT. “While traffic delays are frustrating, making frequent or unsafe lane changes and tailgating increase your risk of causing a crash and don’t make a significant difference in how quickly you arrive.”
Road improvement and maintenance projects are in place along several segments of Interstate 65 and Interstate 85 throughout Alabama. National statistics show that four out of every five work zone fatalities are motorists.
ALDOT offers these tips for driving safely in work zones:
- Know before you go. Check ALGOTraffic.com to find out if there are construction work zones along your path and allow extra time to navigate those areas.
- Pay attention. Don’t drive distracted by texting, eating or other activities that take your hands off the wheel. Look for reduced speed limits, narrow driving lanes and highway workers.
- Slow down. If you’re speeding, you may encounter slowed or stopped traffic within seconds.