Remember travel safety this weekend

Published 5:29 pm Friday, May 24, 2013

AAA is reporting that, as usual, more than 35 million Americans will take to the roadways this holiday weekend and travel more than 50 miles from home.  About 2.3 million will travel by airplane and 89 percent of those total travelers will go on a road trip to start their summer vacation. The average traveler this holiday will travel a total of 690 miles for their entire trip.

Some have their cars loaded to the brim with beach toys and coolers, while others have cars with screaming children singing, “To grandmother’s house we go.”

We have a good feeling Selmians will make up a small portion of the millions of Americans traveling by car and our prayers are with all of the brave souls that are ready to sit in traffic Friday night, Saturday morning and Monday night.

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We urge all those traveling to strap in, buckle up and think of safety first when traveling instead of trying to check into that hotel reservation on time.

With so many Americans taking to the roadways there are bound to be accidents — just like there are every year on this holiday weekend. Sadly, many of those end fatally.

But buckling up, which is a law, can stop that from happening. On long trips children squirm and mom wants to sleep so some have excuses as to why they take their seatbelts off, but we urge all to not do so. Life is more valuable than being uncomfortable for several hours. Seatbelts save lives and statistics tell us so.

It is also imperative to pack cars and SUVs wisely so that no large and heavy items can become a dangerous projectile inside the vehicle if the driver were to have to slam on the breaks or collide into another vehicle.

Memorial Day weekend coincides with the “Click It or Ticket” campaign, a program in which state troopers step up their highway and interstate patrols in Alabama to heavily enforce seatbelt use.

It is also encouraged that all of those taking to the waterways, who will be enjoying the Alabama River, lakes and pools, are to practice safety as well. The Alabama Marine Patrol will be in heavy patrol as well. They will be on the lookout for those not wearing life jackets and boaters drinking and driving.