The holiday season officially begins soon, with Thanksgiving less than 24 hours away – and if you didn’t notice, a lot of focus seems to be on the safety (or lack thereof) on the roads.
Many outlets solemnly proclaim Thanksgiving as one of the most dangerous driving holidays of the year – and organizations such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) make estimates of the number of car accidents and even fatal deaths that may occur during these days.
We don’t know about you, but this is awfully morbid, and focuses a bit too much on the negatives of driving during Thanksgiving. Even if you’re a newly licensed driver, by now you’re well aware of the grave consequences when you’re on the road – and how that danger amplifies with the number of commuters on the highways.
Instead of becoming mired in the negative, here are some positive, proactive tips to follow that can relieve the pressures of driving during the holidays – and boost your confidence on the road.
Maintain an Empathetic Attitude on the Road
Getting stuck in traffic may be a drag, but it’s a fact of life during the holidays. You’re not going to “beat” people to the chase during this busy time, so you might as well maintain a more positive, courteous attitude toward your fellow travelers.
If someone wants to change lanes, let them in. If the car in front of you is crawling at a snail’s pace, don’t tailgate or, worse, flash your high beams at them. There’s traffic on the road anyway, and it’s Thanksgiving – there’s no need to harbor some short-lived grudge for a stranger who’s just as stressed out as yourself.
Be More Forgiving to Your Fellow Driver
Thanksgiving can be a time of family – for better or worse. People usually driving for the holidays are spending long hours on the road in a car stuffed with family, friends, children, babies, pets, or some combination of all those. They’re no doubt burdened with the stresses of driving, family, and the holidays – and as a result, they may make some mistakes on the road.
That car cutting you off likely didn’t do it out of malice, and that SUV with the high beams on probably doesn’t even know they’re still on. Let these things go, and don’t harbor any anger or resentment toward anybody on the road. We’re all human, after all – and we’re bound to make some of the same mistakes at some point as well.
Give Thanks on the Highway
Doing good deeds on the road can result in a safer holiday commute – but acknowledging good deeds from others can make someone’s day. Giving a smile after a road-weary driver lets you through a stop sign, or a friendly wave after a car lets you pass – these can go a long way in sharing the good nature and well-being of the holidays.
This season, don’t focus on the negative – think about all the positives you can contribute to the road in order to make these holidays the most carefree they can be.