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Road rage a wasted emotion

Be safe during shopping season

Let’s face it.

There is no getting around it.

Traffic is horrible and it is only going to get worse the next few weeks.

The holiday shopping season is in full swing and the roadways are full of cars.

It doesn’t matter if you are taking the children to school, trying to get to work, going out to eat or shopping for all those gifts, you are going to invariably get caught in a jam somewhere.

In metro Atlanta the phrase “rush hour” is a misnomer, non sequitur and gross understatement.

Despite their best or worst intentions, no one is rushing anywhere and you can’t even make it to the corner market and back in an hour.

So, what’s a driver to do?

Well, other than a few shortcuts here and there, and scheduling your trips a bit better, there is not much that you can do to to avoid the traffic, especially along I-75 near the popular shopping exits.

So, the best advise we can give is slow down, chill out, pop in your favorite CD or audio book and be safe.

As we have said in the past, road rage is senseless and immature.

It accomplishes nothing.

It gets you nowhere, except maybe in a courtroom in front of a judge.

The elevated blood pressure it brings on can’t be good for you.

And, it makes you look like a total jerk.

Tailgating, honking, making the “you’re number one” sign using the wrong finger, shouting out your window, crossing a double or solid line to pass someone and, of course, excessive speeds are all wasted emotions and actions.

The minute or two you might possibly save will not improve your quality of life in any appreciable way and could possibly cost you dearly in the form of fines, fees, injury or even loss of life.

Besides, more often than not the cars that weave in and out, whipping around slower vehicles, coming dangerously close to cars they cut off in traffic, exceeding the speed limit, often get passed later after they end up blocked into a lane behind a traffic stall.

And, admittedly, it does end up seeming like a bit of poetic justice when you have been cut off or passed by one of those drivers only to renew the acquaintance later on down the road when you see them visiting alongside the road with a friendly person in uniform driving a vehicle with pretty, festive, flashing blue lights.

Hey, here is novel idea: When you see someone ahead of you about to miss an exit or needing to change lanes, or needing to merge, slow down and let them over rather than speeding up and doing everything within your power to prevent them from getting where they need to be.

Try it once.

It may end up being an epiphany for you and you will discover the warm feeling that wells up inside for simply being nice.

Finally, always remember to secure children safely in an approved child safety car seat.

Regardless of the situation, how fussy the child is or how short the trip is, there is never a good reason for a child to be unrestrained in a moving vehicle.

We’ll send you on your way with a few final words of caution.

Buckle up.

Drive safely.

Be alert.

Be courteous.

Stay alive.

Then, relax and enjoy the holiday shopping season.

— Editor Jim Zachary