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By Jim Adler December 27, 2016

You know the drill: It’s the holiday season, so drivers are driving you crazy.

Too many people are on the roads. Too many people are distracted, in a hurry and driving obnoxiously — if not recklessly. Too many chances arise for a collision which could put a big dent in your holiday celebrations.

Jim Adler & Associates feels your pain. We know — we’re out there among the trying traffic, too. But take heart, since we have an early gift for you.

We have Jim Adler’s safe driving tips for holiday traffic.

Slow Down, You Move Too Fast

First, keep in mind that other drivers may not be the only problem. You could be driving poorly yourself. So slow down if you move too fast, and try to make the holidays last.

Believe us: Anything can wait the few seconds you spend going slower or driving more deliberately. And for safety’s sake, it’s worth it.

One place to be especially careful and avoid too much speed is in parking lots. They’re as busy as ever at this time of year, and a clogged, crowded parking lot full of moving cars and package-burdened pedestrians is a dangerous mix, especially since there are so many uncontrolled intersections and so few traffic signs to guide vehicles.

So drive defensively, slowing down and staying alert to the vehicles and walkers in your path. Also remember not to start backing up as soon as you place your vehicle in reverse. Distracted, heedless shoppers could step behind your vehicle even after your back-up lights come on.

Road Rage Should Take a Holiday

Road rage is dangerous — and reckless driving is illegal in Texas — at any time of the year, but even more risky during holiday traffic jams. So guard against having your own meltdown at the wheel, and be wary of other drivers who might turn their car into an intimidating weapon at the least provocation.

Again, slow down, and drive cautiously and generously, not aggressively.

By generously we mean pausing to let another vehicle move in front of you when it needs to slide over, and not tailgating anyone, anywhere, even if you’re in a hurry. Practice the Golden Rule and treat other drivers the way you’d like to be treated on roads — even if their actions deserve coal in their stockings.

Distractions are Distressing

Even with the best of intentions behind the wheel, you can make driving mistakes. And these days, driver errors often are the result of distressing distractions, from texts and calls on cell phones to infatuation with all the new gadgets in the latest vehicles. (TV, anyone?)

Distracted driving is especially risky in high traffic situations. So keep your eyes — and your mind — on the road around you, and drive to stay alive for the holidays.

There — now you have some safe driving food for thought. So feast on that before your holiday meals, and become the safe driver during holiday traffic jams that Santa would want all good boys and girls to be when they grow up.

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