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Holiday Driving Tips

During the holidays driving and even parking become more hectic than usual. There are mad rushes to get out of work early, mad rushes to the mall, and mad scary rushes to the in-laws. There are precautions to take when making the holiday rounds.

The craziest place to be may be the mall. Crazy anxious drivers, entitled drivers, and distracted drivers make the mall parking lot a virtual obstacle course. One thing to remember is that it is still a “road”, and driving rules still apply. Stop at the mall stop signs, yield signs, etc. One way signs in malls mean the same as one way signs on public roads. The typical 15MPH sign should especially be obeyed in the mall with dozens of pedestrians wandering aimlessly between cars and crossing lanes. If someone steals your prime parking spot after you sat there with your blinker on for five minutes, let it go, no need to fight over a parking spot. However, when parking at night make sure the area you are parked in is well lit. Be aware of your surroundings coming and going from your vehicle, especially when returning to your car with packages. A distracted casual shopper with expensive gifts is a prime target for a robber. If you are going back and forth from your car with bags, lock them in your trunk out of sight. If at all possible try to go shopping with a partner or in a group.

Holiday driving during the season is always hectic, even when not on the actual day of the holiday. Maniacs are rushing to others houses for parties and of course constant shopping traffic. Due to holiday festivities there are usually a higher number of driving while intoxicated incidents. There will be more cars on the road. Plan your trip accordingly. Anywhere you are going, if you are in a time crunch, leave early. Unfortunately if you work near a mall and don’t have the luxury of leaving early, you may want to wait for some down time before leaving. Since malls have a diverse demographic, traffic appears from everywhere. Of course if you are going to a holiday party don’t drink and drive. Try not to stay too long at a night party; the worst drunk drivers are out in the later hours, especially after midnight. If going to multiple destinations map out your trip. Doubling back not only wastes gas it wastes time and adds to frustration, and try to do all shopping errands for the day in one trip. Traveling to the in-laws or the immediate family used to be fun as a child, now you’re an adult and now you know why your parents grew more gray hairs at the holidays. Since you are stressed enough as it is, try to leave as early as possible when visiting relatives no matter how far away. It can also be a good excuse to leave early since you can say you have to beat the traffic.

Holiday unfortunately have become a stressful time of year. Take the stress of driving off of the list and plan accordingly.