• 54°

Fourth of July a time for safe, family fellowship

Fire up the grills and call the family, it's time for the annual Fourth of July holiday.

In what perhaps is the biggest birthday party in the world, friends, neighbors and families will gather to celebrate the nation's birth.

The holiday isn't without danger, however.

It's one of the deadliest times of the year on Alabama roadways, according to the Alabama Dept. of Public Safety.

The department estimates that 16 people will die in traffic crashes in Alabama during the 78-hour Independence Day holiday, that begins tomorrow and ends at midnight on Saturday.

Last year, troopers report that seven people died.

What often begins as a fun-filled trip turns to disaster when out on the roadways.

Troopers indicate there will be heavy traffic on the state's roads throughout the weekend.

In Troy, we've seen a few of the preparations for the eventuality of this spike through the increased need for blood - the primary reason Troy Police Chief Anthony Everage gives for his department's annual blood being so close to the Fourth of July.

We'd urge all our readers to take extra caution when on the roadways.

Drive a little slower, and be a little more mindful of other drivers.

That way, we'll all enjoy a safe, fun holiday.