AAA and various automotive agencies predict July 4th weekend to bring more motorists onto the nation's highways, which means an increased risk of auto accidents.

AAA offers the following tips for staying safe if you'll be traveling by auto this weekend:

  • Avoid distracted driving. Smartphones, GPS devices and cell phones are just some of the ways you can get distracted behind the wheel. Don't text and drive, and avoid any other activities that take your mind, hands and eyes away from the task of driving.
  • Be prepared for busy streets. Be patient and be ready for city streets and highways to be packed.
  • Do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Fourth of July weekend is a time to celebrate with friends and family. Oftentimes this involves drinking alcoholic beverages. Pledge to not drink under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

A great time for barbecues and grilling, Independence Day weekend also poses a risk of injuries and accidents related to grilling activities. The American Red Cross offers the following grilling safety tips:

  • When using a barbecue grill, always supervise it.
  • Do not grill indoors.
  • Make sure children and pets stay away from the grill.
  • Keep the grill away from anything it could light on fire, such as tree branches.

Use these tips to keep you and your family members safe this Independence Day weekend.