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Originally published: 2014-07-07 10:27:45
Last modified: 2014-07-07 10:27:45

Our View: Have snacks ... will travel, but not on the road

Safe travels.

That's the message from AAA, NCDOT and other acronyms that have our best interest in mind as we prepare to take to the road for the long July 4 holiday weekend.

Despite a hurricane readying to swipe at North Carolina's coast, and despite rising gas prices, the auto club AAA and N.C. Department of Transportation estimate that holiday travel will grow by almost 2 percent above last year, meaning that about 41 million people will be on the road nationwide sometime between today and Sunday. 

That volume of traffic, intensified in the High Country by visitors making last-minute plans to trek to the mountains instead of facing Hurricane Arthur, raises the potential for accidents and mishaps as we hit the road during what is typically the busiest travel period of the summer.

Now, before you're behind the wheel, is the best time to make the commitment to safe driving.

That commitment begins with putting away the distractions -- cell phones, texting, GPS devices or fiddling with the CD player. The lunch you grab from a drive-through can wait until a rest stop. And the personal grooming you couldn't finish before starting out will hold until you reach your destination.

Just one or two seconds' worth of distraction can change your life, and the lives of those you impact, forever, the AAA cautions.

Thousands of people die each year from distracted driving. July 4 and other holidays are filled with such sad statistics. 

Do your part to not join those numbers. 

Stay alert. Stay focused. Stay safe on the road.