Dear Fellow Survivalist;
I don’t know about you; but I love the holiday season. My mother always made a big deal over Christmas and my wife does so as well. I enjoy the baking, decorating, gift giving and festivities. But it’s not a blind love. I’ve learned that the holiday season can be a dangerous time of year, in addition to being a joyous time of year.
What I’m referring to are two specific types of crazy drivers that seem to come out in droves during the holidays. One of those are the shoppers and the other are the drunks. I’m not sure which is worse, as either one can kill you just as dead as someone shooting you, T-boning your driver’s side door with their car. Both seem impervious to the idea that there are other people on the road, who are in just as much a rush to get where they are going, as they are.
What is it about Christmas shopping that instills so much stress and anger in people? Stressed, angry people are never good drivers. They see anyone else on the road as an obstacle in their way and want to drive right over them, rushing to their next destination. Worse than that, they get tunnel vision, impeding their ability to see what other drivers are doing. They might cause an accident, even if they aren’t in it, by cutting some other driver off.
Road rage becomes commonplace this time of year, even more so than other times. That’s especially true on Saturdays and Black Friday. As people rush to get the best deals and check off their shopping lists, it is as if they see every minute they spend in the car, going from one destination to the next, as a personal affront. How dare anyone get in their way, keeping them from their appointed rounds!
There are two excellent solutions I’ve found for dealing with this problem. The first is shopping online. My wife and I actually do most of our Christmas shopping online, other than the gifts that I make myself. Those cut down on the shopping a bit; but they aren’t enough to eliminate shopping altogether.
The second thing I try to do is shop when others aren’t shopping. First of all, that means avoiding Saturdays and Black Friday. On top of that, I either shop when everyone else is at work or asleep. Many stores have extended hours during the holiday shopping season and I take good advantage of it. I’ll take a nap early, then go shopping late. Not only are the roads less crowded, the stores are too.
One thing the holidays means, is a lot of people throwing a lot of parties. That, in turn, means a lot of people drinking more than is good for them. That’s their business; but as soon as they get behind the wheel of their cars, it becomes our business… all of our business.
A drunk on the road is a hazard to us all; and when I say “drunk” I’m referring to anyone who is copping a buzz, not just the obvious drunks. If someone has drunk enough to cop a buzz, they’ve drunk enough that it is impairing their vision, their thinking, and their reactions.
It’s bad enough that these people’s ability to react to dangers is impeded; but that’s not the worst of it. They are likely to cause problems for other drivers through weaving, not stopping on time, misjudging distances and a host of other things that are all part of driving. Anyone around them is in danger from their unpredictable actions.
It can be extremely hard to avoid drunks on the road; but we have to try. That means being aware of the other drivers around us and taking evasive action whenever we see one who is driving erratically. I personally prefer to get ahead of these people and drive away from them; but that’s not always possible. Sometimes, the only thing that can be done is to turn and take another route.
One last thing I’d like to mention about those who are drinking too much. That is, there’s always a possibility that they’re armed. While that is not common, there are enough cases of drunks shooting people every year to give the newspapers something to write about. Always use the upmost of caution when dealing with these people, keeping in mind that there’s always the possibility that they might be armed and not have the mental faculties to use their guns wisely.
It’s really all about thinking ahead and seeing potential dangers, before they can manifest. That’s a necessary tool in our toolbox, just like keeping our powder dry and our survival gear close at hand.