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Stay safe this Memorial Day weekend

As Memorial Day weekend approaches, there will be many vehicles on the freeways and streets as families and friends gather for fun and to commemorate those who lost their lives in the defense of our country.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics showed that in 2012, 377 individuals lost their lives nationwide over the three-day Memorial Day holiday weekend. Whenever there is an uptick in the number of vehicles clogging the roads, the risk of highway fatalities rises precipitously.

There are ways to minimize the risk of dangerous collisions with trucks and other vehicles, however. Below are some tips from the NHTSA for ways to be safer this Memorial Day weekend and always.

Making sure that all occupants are buckled into their seat belts for every trip, no matter how short, is of prime importance as buckling up is drivers' and passengers' number one defense against being killed or injured in a collision. If you are traveling with children this Memorial Day, insist that they ride in properly installed car and booster seats that are both age and size appropriate.

Drivers should never get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol, as someone dies somewhere in America in a crash involving alcohol impairment every 51 minutes. It's unimaginable to consider you or your beloved family members becoming a statistic, so reduce the likelihood by remaining sober if you are driving.

Proper tire care can prevent blowouts that can cause a vehicle to careen out of control into oncoming traffic. Performing a checklist on your vehicle's components to make sure that everything is working properly before setting out on a holiday excursion is a wise choice.

If a collision does occur and is the fault of an inattentive truck driver or motorist, filing a claim for damages is the first step in the process when seeking financial compensation.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "Memorial Day Advisory: NHTSA Releases Summer Driving Tips for Safe Travel During The Holiday Weekend and Summer Months," accessed May 20, 201

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