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Stay safer by dodging the Black Friday traffic jams

Last week, we discussed the dangers of impaired drivers on "Blackout Wednesday." This week's entry will delve into the inherent dangers of Black Friday, and why it may be better to do your super-saving at home, from the comfort of your keyboard.

Without even getting into the abbreviated family holiday get-togethers, as bargain hunters chomp at the bit to rush out the door to join throngs of strangers in tussling over discounted merchandise, Black Friday crowds spell disaster.

They snarl the highways with traffic jams as they rush madly from one retail outlet to the next, jockeying for position and beating one another out for parking spots. Some are operating on very little or no sleep, having gotten up early to prepare the holiday feast, maybe tossed back a few cocktails before getting into their cars and heading out to malls and big box stores all over America.

Add a little road rage to the sleep deprivation and possible impairment, and you truly have a potentially lethal situation on your hands.

Holidays are times of heightened danger for drivers, anyway. This year, due to both Hurricane Matthew and smoldering forest fires, the state Department of Transportation is warning drivers that certain roads will be closed and traffic re-routed, which can add to the confusion and increase the risk of accidents.

So this year, even if you are a die-hard Black Friday shop-til-you-drop type, consider mixing it up a little for safety's sake. Catch some online deals with a few mouse clicks and enjoy the company of family and friends.

Source: CNET, "Here's why you shouldn't go to the store on Black Friday," Sarah Mitroff, accessed Nov. 18, 2016

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