Buckle yourself in, enjoy a safe Fourth

Published 4:57 pm Wednesday, July 2, 2014

If holiday travel statistics aren’t enough to make you buckle up before leaving home this Fourth of July, the grief of the Auburn faithful should.

This past weekend, former AU tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen and one of his friends died in a single vehicle accident. Neither Lutzenkirchen, nor the driver, was wearing a safety belt. The only survivor of the wreck who was restrained was treated and released. A second survivor, who was not restrained and was partially ejected in the wreck, remained in the hospital longer.

Lutzenkirchen, a Marietta, Ga., native, was one of the good guys; known widely for his kindness and generosity off the field as much as he was celebrated on the field during his four-year career at AU.

We join the victims’ families and fans in mourning their passing, and hope that parents everywhere will use their tragic deaths as reminders to their children that safety restraints are important.

AAA Travel projects 41 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Independence Day holiday weekend. Approximately 34.8 million will choose to travel by automobile.

Unfortunately, with the increased traffic come increased accidents. Obeying traffic laws, refraining from driving while drinking, and simply using safety belts can save families a lot of heartbreak.

The Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as Wed., July 2, to Sun., July 6. As you head out to celebrate our nation’s freedoms, please buckle up.