GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. - Millions of people are expected to hit the road and return home as they wrap up the Labor Day Holiday.
AAA says up to 35 million people traveled at least 50 miles by car over the holiday weekend, estimating the possibility of more than 400 deaths across U.S. roads.
The North Carolina State Highway Patrol continues to monitor the roads, keeping an eye out for drunk drivers and lawbreakers.
On average, someone is killed by a drunk driver every 45 minutes.
State troopers are working against the statistics by targeting impaired drivers through daily patrols and running sobriety checkpoints.
The N.C. State Highway Patrol offers the following tips to help prevent injuries while motorists travel the state's highways:
- Secure all loose items in your car, including pets. If a vehicle is traveling at 55 mph and comes to an abrupt stop, anything loose will continue at the same speed inside the vehicle, becoming a dangerous missile.
- Steer clear of flooded roads and intersections. You can lose control of your vehicle in several inches of water, and your car can be swept away in less than a foot of water. Flash floods often cause fatalities when motorists try to drive on flooded sections of roads. If you can't see the markings on the road, don't drive through the water.
- Always wear a seat belt. Seat belts save lives and injuries. Airbags are designed to work with your seat belt. Otherwise, the airbag could hit your chest with the force of a baseball bat.
- Prevent neck injuries by keeping your car's head restraints up, as high as the top of the ears and as close to the head as possible.
- If you become drowsy, open the windows, turn on the radio, or pull over and take a nap, even 20 minutes if you need to.
- Watch out for drunk drivers. Look for drivers who straddle the center line, make wide turns, drift in and out of lanes, are driving too slow or too fast, run red lights or drive at night without headlights.
- Don't rubberneck. Drive by an accident scene at a safe speed and keep your eyes on the road. Also, don't talk on a cell phone, read a map, apply make-up or have any distractions while driving.