Summer is prime road trip season in Texas and across the U.S. The fact that the Fourth of July falls on a Thursday in 2013 means that many people are taking the following Friday off so they have a long weekend. Some view the extended holiday weekend as an opportunity to hit the road and do some traveling.

Each year AAA Texas issues a forecast of how many Texans will be traveling for the Fourth of July. AAA Texas estimates that about 2.9 million Texas will take trips at least 50 miles or more from their homes from Wednesday July 3 through Sunday July 7, 2013. Of those travelers, AAA Texas predicts that 89 percent, or about 2.4 million people, will travel by motor vehicle. AAA Texas estimates that Texas residents will travel an average of about 966 miles round-trip over the holiday weekend.

With so many people planning on traveling by automobile for such long distances, the chances for auto accidents can increase dramatically if people do not take precautions. Public safety officials have made the dangers of distracted driving common knowledge, yet many drivers fail to make driving their focus when behind the wheel. They get distracted not only by cell phones but also by other hand-held electronics, G.P.S. devices, tuning the radio, billboards, conversations with other passengers or a myriad of other things. Driving while distracted puts everyone on the road in danger.

Some Fourth of July celebrations include alcohol, and people need to be careful about choosing to drive after having consumed alcohol. Some people have difficulty telling when their faculties are too impaired to allow them to drive safely, so if people choose to drink while celebrating the Fourth of July they should have someone else drive them home. The cost of a cab pales in comparison to the cost of an auto accident.

Not everyone makes smart choices about driving, however, and those who have been injured by another’s negligence should consult an attorney who can help them recover for their losses.

Source: kuhf Houston Public Radio, “2.9 Million Texans Plan 4th Of July Travel,” Jack Williams and Ed Mayberry, July 1, 2013