4TH OF JULY: 3 things to know before hitting the road - KMSP-TV

4TH OF JULY: 3 things to know before hitting the road

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

Many Minnesotans are packing up the car in preparation to hit the road for the Fourth of July, but in the name of safety, there are a few things to keep in mind when you're on the road.

AAA says fewer drivers will be hitting the road this holiday because of the economy, but also because a lot of people are working this holiday. Still, millions will drive 50 miles or more from their home for the long weekend.

CONSTRUCTION UPDATE

If you are traveling through St. Cloud on Highway 10, be aware the road is being reduced to a single lane in each direction at the railroad crossing just west of East Street due to construction.

Also in St. Cloud, sections of Highway 23 have been reduced to a single lane between Foley and Ogilvie.

I-94 lanes and ramps are open for the holiday week in both directions between Clearwater and St. Cloud. Construction in that area will resume on July 8 and is expected to be finished by the end of the month.

GAS PRICES

AAA reports gas prices in Minnesota today on average are $3.36 a gallon -- that's 11 cents less than the national average of $3.47 a gallon.

Not to mention, our gas prices this Fourth of July holiday week are 12 cents cheaper than they were this time last year.

ZERO TOLERANCE FOR DRUNK DRIVING

There will be zero tolerance for drunk drivers this holiday. Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske says extra patrol units will be out in full-force to curb drunk driving and ensure safe travel on Minnesota roads -- but most importantly, he hopes this warning encourages drivers to secure a sober ride ahead of time.

"July 4th over the last four years is the most deadly day on Minnesota roads with 19 deaths -- 13 were alcohol-related," Roeske said.

According to Roeske, these are the four most important things to do to avoid an accident:

-Don't drink and drive
-Wear your seatbelt
-Pay attention
-Drive the speed limit

"Distracted driving has been the leading factor in mn crashes, whether its cell phone use, texting, passengers or just daydreaming, it can be very dangerous," he said.

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