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Thursday, August 30, 2012 -

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During the long Labor Day weekend last year, eight people lost their lives in traffic collisions across Arizona. During the same weekend in 2010, eleven people died in traffic collisions statewide. During the Memorial Day weekend in 2009, seven people died in traffic collisions across Arizona.

DPS expects heavy traffic throughout the state during this upcoming Labor Day weekend, and wants to make sure the motoring public takes proper precautions if taking to the busy roadways for the holiday. Taking the proper precautions and practicing safe driving habits saves lives.

Before setting out on the road remember to bring plenty of water. Check the condition of your tires for sufficient tread. Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Be sure to check your gauges.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) has developed a list of several of the top causes of traffic collisions.

Attentiveness/Fatigue –Make sure you are well rested before setting out on the road. Sleep deprived drivers pose a significant danger on Arizona highways. Reaction times are adversely affected when drivers are not alert. Get plenty of rest before you begin your journey. A number of fatal collisions investigated by DPS involved fatigued drivers. Don’t be one of them.

Impaired Driving – If you are planning on drinking this holiday weekend make sure you have a designated driver or plans to call a cab. Once you start drinking your ability to make sound decisions decreases with each drink. Impaired driving extends beyond just the consumption of alcohol. Never use illegal drugs or drive while taking prescription drugs that may impair your driving ability.

Buckle Up – A seatbelt will ensure that you stop with your car. Without it, you may end up being thrown from the vehicle if you are involved in a collision.

Speeding – Speeding greatly increases the chances of a collision and reduces the amount of time to avoid one. Following the speed limits will decrease the chances of serious injury or death in a collisions.