The Christmas rush is on - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

The Christmas rush is on

December 20, 2005

Albany-- People are rushing about during the holidays - running in and out of stores, driving to countless parties and events, and battling traffic the whole way.

It's easy to lose patience and hard to pay attention with tons of other concerns racing through your mind. The stress can turn anyone into a dangerous driver!

It doesn't take long to turn into a real Scrooge when you're battling holiday traffic. And what does it take? "Just people not paying attention," says shopper Lorie Jacobs.

Most of us have too much to do and not enough time to do it. "We have to finish up shopping, meet with friends and we have a cookie swap tomorrow," Jacobs said.

Jacobs, like most parents, knows how hard it can be to stay focused on driving with her son and nephews in the back seat. "It's been difficult dealing with them and making sure they're OK."

Kids to deal with, phone calls to make, and shopping to finish turn normally safe drivers into stress cases. And that leads to crashes on the roads. Albany Police Sgt. Tony Moore says, "We're coming in with anything over 30 to 45 wrecks."

Moore says Albany's road are extra busy this time of year. People from surrounding towns come here to shop and visit family and friends.

Moore says the main reason for more wrecks is road rage. "When people get out there and get upset with other drivers, they shoot a finger or start yelling and that's aggressive drivers. Aggressive driving does suspend your license and is a hefty ticket."

Moore encourages drivers not to talk on the cell phone, watch out for pedestrians especially in those crowded parking lots, back out of parking spots slowly always being cautious of cars driving down the lane, and avoid b-lining it through a parking lot.

You're asking to get hit. And, he says be patient - give yourself a few more minutes to get around town. "Haste makes waste. The majority of the wrecks we see are either someone speeding, driving impaired or they are rushing to get somewhere."

Remember, a wreck or a speeding ticket will really slow you and steal the happiness from your holiday. Albany Police also warn that they will have roadblocks set up throughout the holidays.

They'll be looking for drunk drivers, seatbelt violators and other offenses.

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