Five Road Rules to Follow This Holiday Season

The wide open highway isn't the worst place to be during the holidays, but try to follow some rules.
The wide open highway isn't the worst place to be during the holidays, but try to follow some rules. Photo by Teresa Trimm
Nothing says "over the river and through the woods" like a good, old fashioned holiday road trip. Sure, you could invite the entire family over for the holidays, but then they would have to, you know, come to your house. Yikes. Instead, take a drive, enjoy some scenery and live off of them for a change.

But, if you do have to make a road trip to visit the fam, be it an hour or a couple days drive, be sure to follow the rules of the road.

Give trucks a LOT of room.

Imagine that you're on vacation, cruising down the highway loving life. Cool, now imagine you are a long-haul trucker working through the holidays and the only chance you get to see your family is on a 24-hour stopover. The point is these guys work hard, real hard, and the least we can do is give them a wide birth and keep clear of any potential danger. You'll be safer. They'll be safer. And the world will be a better place for all of us.

Pull over when you get tired.

It gets dark early now. It's weird, we know. But when it gets dark, it's cool outside and you're toasty warm in your cozy little car, don't fall asleep at the wheel and kill like 20 people. It happens. Whenever you get tired, pull over. Find a rest stop or, better yet, a super creepy roadside motel. Few things are as holiday festive as a dude with no teeth taking only cash for a room with a coin-operated massage bed.

Don't tailgate.

This is annoying any day of the week, but when you are racing through west Texas at 85 miles per hour, it's particularly terrifying. Exercise a little patience there, buddy. Listen to some Christmas music and chill out.

The left lane is for passing, for the love of God.

It is difficult for us to imagine a more frustrating scene than a pair of cars on a highway taking up both lanes driving the same speed. On those kinds of highways, please, for the love of baby Jesus, stay in the right lane or pass as quickly as possible. You may unwittingly be causing the kind of traffic jam behind you that could result in divorce, murder and/or the complete breakdown of society as we know it, all because you didn't follow this important rule.

Have a little holiday spirit.

Be nice. Give a wave and a smile. This is particularly a good idea up north where they will be utterly confused by this response. More importantly, it will keep you cheerful and ready to deal with your brother's screaming kids and your mom's incessant questions about when you are getting married already. And if your spirits sink once you arrive, there's always egg nog.
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke