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Holiday Road Safety and Manners

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The road to and from the Holidays can sometimes be one filled with angry drivers, rude riders and even dangers. Everybody is just trying to drive towards or away from a good holiday celebration and sometimes that means that they are driving tired or grumpy from the Christmas and New Year's rush.

Don’t be a victim to cycle of road rudeness and potential accidents just waiting to happen! Learn how you can keep focused and relaxed to avoid getting caught in a whirlwind of road rage from traffic and discourtesy:

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Everybody Feels Just Like You Do

Next time you want to call out the driver in front of you or show off a rude gesture, remember that all of the people in their cars are just like you: haggard, maybe a little sleepy or having a splitting headache. If you were experiencing any of those feelings, would you appreciate being shouted at or having a person honk beside or behind you? You’d definitely snap and get a little salty yourself, wouldn’t you? Sometimes, all it takes to start a roadside word war and a barrage of beeping is for two people to snap at each other.

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Smartphones and Driving Don’t Mix

No matter what fancy apps your phone has or what nifty feature it contains, it is never EVER a good idea to dabble with your phone while driving. That can lead to cringe-worthy accidents or even something fatal if you aren’t careful. Before you embark on a trip, inform the people who are likely to call you that you will on the road (parents, sibling, kids and maybe your hubby if you’re either taking separate cars or trips). If you really need to text or make a phone call during the ride, park at the side of a gas station or a roadside store for a bit and contact away. If you are riding with others, have them do the call or text in your stead.

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Help Others in Need

So the car in front of you starts to slow down. The driver pops out and he seems to be troubled with something he found in the engine. He doesn’t seem to have his phone with him so you can assume he either doesn’t have one or the battery is dead. Do you (a.) honk your horn at him like a jerk and get mad or (b.) look around for a place to park if there’s any and go offer him some help. Oftentimes, people will not be able to handle their car problem. They’re only human. So be a decent human yourself and get out there to help. Helping others on the road not only leads to good karma, but it can help loosen the traffic or commotion it creates, lowering the chances of drama and rage rearing its ugly head.

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Mind Driving Distance, Please

it may be tempting to tailgate in order to get to your destination faster, but a sudden stop or a lane change can often spell out danger for both the front and back driver (that’s you). Whether you do it on purpose or unconsciously, keeping your distance from other vehicles is a great way to avoid collisions and other accident-inducing events that could potentially jeopardize any more of your holiday plans. Always keeping an ample distance between yourselves ensures you all get where you want to go safely and soundly.

Don’t Fire the First Shot

By ‘Don’t fire the first shot’ I mean ‘try not to be rude first’. It can be hard to contain yourself when people around you might be too slow or unskilled in driving, but being the better person and keeping your cool at all times can reward you in the long run. This also includes rude and egotistical behaviors such as revving up your engine too loudly or short, excessive beeping of your horn. Don’t forget to nod, wave or mouth a ‘thank you’ to people who let’s you through an intersection or a traffic-heavy section. It’ll make them feel good about their courtesy and their selflessness (which they rightfully deserve).

Keep in mind that the roads belong to everyone, so it’s everybody’s duty to drive safely and responsibly. Especially in this busy season, it’s up to everybody to make sure that those around them and they, themselves, reach home to their families and friends.