The holidays are a magical time of year with the lights, sights, and feeling in the air. One thing that isn’t so fun about the holidays is the extra traffic on all the roads. It is frustrating to try and get anywhere.
If you find yourself in some extra heavy holiday traffic this year, keep in mind the four P’s for dealing with it; plan extra time, practice good driving habits, proactive driving, and patience.
Plan extra time.
Times of heavy traffic like weekend evenings, dinner time, rush hours, and around special events, it is important that you allow some extra time for driving. Leave early to reach your celebration on time and don’t rely on estimated GPS travel time. Car crashes, construction, and more drivers on the road at once add up to heavy delays during the holidays.
If you want to make sure you reach your holiday work party, family function, or any other get-together on time, give yourself some extra time to get there. This will help you feel happier and less stressed behind the wheel, which decreases risky maneuvers in traffic and road rage during your travels.
Practice good driving habits.
Following proper driving etiquette is more than just good advice, it’s the law. During times of heavy traffic, it is especially important to follow procedure. Make sure that you signal before turning, switching lanes, or waiting for a parking spot.
Don’t follow the car in front of you too closely and give them plenty of room to drive. Watch how fast you are traveling. Drivers tend to drive too fast when they have been feeling stuck to make up time. If there is the typical holiday weather of rain or snow, it is especially dangerous.
While no one can read minds, you can anticipate the actions of other drivers. Stay safe by watching cues, like attempting to switch lanes, not watching the light change at an intersection, or staying vigilant for a driver suddenly pulling into traffic. If you are watching other drivers, chances are good that you are giving the road your attention and not paying attention to a cell phone.
Patience is a virtue.
While the holidays are full of fun and giving, there is also a lot of stress. People are out buying gifts, everyone out rushing around to the different sales, and others are trying to travel for the holidays to see their family and friends. It isn’t easy to get everything done and can leave you feeling tired and impatient on the roads.
Remember to slow down, bring things to keep kids busy in the back seat, and find ways to make your time in the car more enjoyable, like audiobooks, podcasts, or listening to a new Christmas album. Keeping yourself calm and trying to be more patient can lead to a more enjoyable experience on the road, even during heavy holiday traffic.
These four tips are a great starting point when dealing with heavy traffic during the holidays. Following them can help guide you to make better choices behind the wheel and having a more successful holiday this year.