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July 4th deadly holiday for drivers

Our nation's birthday is a time of celebration, backyard bar-b-cues and spectacular fireworks. It also has the dubious honor of being one of the deadliest days for drivers. As drivers pack the roads of West Virginia on the way to their various holiday destinations, it is important to keep in mind how to stay safe and what to do if an accident occurs.

A report by Travelers Companies, Inc. claimed that 7 percent more accidents occur on the Fourth of July and the three days preceding it compared to the other two summer holidays. Already busy summer roads are made that much more dangerous by often hurried and distracted drivers who may be driving unfamiliar roads and have the added distraction of excited kids and family in the back seats.

The good news is that there are many things drivers can do to minimize their chance of a holiday accident. The first step is good car maintenance. Many auto accidents are due to vehicle failure caused by delayed or improper maintenance. Route familiarity is also an important factor in accidents. It can be helpful to get familiar with the route beforehand by previewing it on the GPS system and ensuring that the GPS route is properly programmed before starting out. Longer trips are notorious for causing fatigue-related accidents. It is important to take frequent breaks and get proper rest.

When a car accident caused by another driver does occur, it is important to know what to do. The accident scene should be carefully and fully documented, including the contact information of the other driver and any witnesses. It is equally important to prepare for a lawsuit and contact an attorney quickly.

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Stephen P. New, Attorney at Law
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