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The roads during the holidays--be careful out there

We all know the holidays are fraught with peril when it comes to driving on the highways and byways. Everything seems to conspire to make the roads a more dangerous place. From fewer hours of daylight and more bad weather, to more parties and social events that entail alcohol and drinking, to frazzled shoppers attempting to find that one item to finish their shopping list, the streets and roads around Macon have many hazards.

A study by the University of Alabama's Center for Advanced Public Safety, looking at data from that state, found during the holiday period, that the six days before Christmas were the most risky. That period had 18 percent more car accidents than Thanksgiving and 27 percent more than New Year's Day.

It pays to take extra time and an extra deep breath. Racing through parking lots at stores, just to beat another driver to a parking spot places you at risk of hitting another car or pedestrians in the lot. A manslaughter charge will not make Christmas very merry.

And everyone has been to Christmas parties and other holiday gatherings where someone has had too much to drink but still attempted to drive home. A survey by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) found that 73 percent of drinking age adults have witnessed such behavior.

This is not necessary. Drunk driving fatalities for the period between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve for 2012 numbered almost 1,100 people.

If you do want to go to a party and "enjoy" the available beverages, consider a cab. Even if it cost $50, consider what your life is worth. Surely, it is worth cab fare to arrive home safely.

Source: USA Today, "Holiday revelers urged to avoid drunken driving," Larry Copeland, Dec. 11, 2013

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