The State Patrol and the hundreds of local law enforcement agencies throughout Minnesota have extra patrols planned through the Fourth of July weekend in hopes of keeping the holiday a safe one for travelers.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety notes of the July 4th holiday travel period has historically been one of the deadliest times of the year to be on the road. Over the past 10 years, 59 people have died as a result of injuries suffered in crashes that occurred during the Fourth of July holiday period.

The department also notes almost 60-percent of those fatal crashes were alcohol-related.

“In the summer, we experience fewer crashes than in the winter, but along with the warmer temperatures, people tend to drive at higher speeds and crashes are more severe, which results in more fatalities and serious injuries,” said Donna Berger, Office of Traffic Safety director. “In addition to always buckling up, driving at safe speeds and paying attention to the road, the high number of DWI arrests is a call to action for all Minnesotans to plan a sober ride home before going out to celebrate.”

Since 2004, Independence Day also has seen 4,585 crashes, 200 serious injuries and 5,324 DWI citations, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety