Don't Let the New Year Eve Traffic Turn Tragic

Everyone loves the holidays. And everyone has the experienced the frustrating counterpart: that apocalyptic traffic on the way home from shopping or visiting family: The stop-and-go roads. The weather. The frazzled nerves. It's a recipe for disaster, whether you're on the L.I.E., the Garden State or I-95! Here are a few tips to keep yourself safe and sane, all season and all year, no matter how big the jam is.

Leave early, or leave late. It can be surprising how much of a difference a few hours can make for the traffic—and for your sanity. If at all possible, set your plans so that you can leave well before or after the rush. Especially on a Sunday, why not have dinner with the family, then head home? Kids will sleep in the car, and mom and dad can handle being up a little later.

Keep water and snacks in the car. Parents will probably have this covered, but hunger (and the "hangry" mood that comes with it) affects people of all ages. Have a little kit of bottled water and a few bites to eat. Stick to healthier options like nuts and granola bars, instead of thirst-inducing potato chips or sugar-spiking candy. And when you do use your supplies, make sure to replenish them!

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