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Beating Summer Traffic

Hit the road before everyone else. Take off just after sunrise, says a spokesperson for the American Automobile Association (AAA). Pour your morning coffee into a thermos and hope that your kids nod off in the back.

Tap into technology. Register for free traffic alerts on [XREF {http://www.traffic.com/} {Traffic.com} {_blank}]. You'll receive road updates as a text message to your cell  -- which means you won't have to listen to headache-inducing AM radio for hours on end.

Plan a few detours. Keep a list of local hot spots along your route so you can veer off for a kid-friendly adventure when you start seeing brake lights.

Avoid driving during accident-prone times. According to the AAA, most accidents occur weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. and weekends from midnight to 3 a.m. Also: More accidents happen on the Fourth of July weekend than on any other holiday.

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