Kelly Alley

Yep, that’s right folks. This is the last column of the year. Don’t worry though, because this column will be back bigger and better than ever before in 2020.

As we head into winter break and the holiday travel season, I reckon there’s a few driving tips, tricks or words of advice I can try to give you. A few of these might be common sense, but it doesn’t hurt to have a bit of a reminder now and then.

First of all, don’t look at your phone while you’re driving. Besides being unsafe, it’s against the law in Tennessee. The law includes texting, calling and recording video/audio while driving, so be aware of that on the road.

If you really need to make a call and you don’t have Bluetooth or some hands-free way of talking on the phone, pull over and stop to use your phone. Save yourself from an avoidable ticket or a possible wreck.

Second, take your time traveling, especially on wet or icy roads. Just because it’s possible to go 75 or 80 miles per hour on the interstate doesn’t mean you should. Keep in mind the weather and the effects it might have on your journey, too.

Speaking of weather, make sure you have some sort of snackables and drinks along with extra winter clothes or a blanket in your car. These could come in handy in snow-snarled, heavily delayed traffic conditions. Make sure you have plenty of gas, too!

Third, and I cannot stress this enough, use your blinker/indicator when turning or merging into a lane. Also, if traffic allows it, take your time to merge into a lane.

Along this same thought, be aware of semi-truck or tractor-trailer blind spots. Try not to stay too close to their rear bumper; if you can’t see their mirrors, they can’t see you. Don’t merge right in front of them either, as it takes a lot to stop one of those things. Space is an all-important component concerning these guys, so give them plenty.

Finally, enjoy your trip. Driving shouldn’t be stressful; it should be fun. Crank up the holiday tunes and have a mini jam session in your car. Should you be driving through a snow shower at night, bam! Instant warp speed achieved!

Take breaks as you need them to stretch your legs or grab a bite to eat. Traveling is a lot more fun when you’re not hangry or stiff from sitting for too long.

Alright, I think that’s about it for now. For those graduating this semester, congrats and good luck out there in the world. For the rest of us, enjoy the break and get some well-needed rest.

Safe travels, everyone.

Kelly Alley is a senior studying journalism and electronic media. She can be reached at kalley2@vols.utk.edu.

Columns and letters of The Daily Beacon are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Beacon or the Beacon's editorial staff.

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