With Christmas and New Years fastly approaching us, our highways will get busy with the last-minute shopper and people visiting family and friends. A majority of drivers get angry when someone cuts them off or tailgates them. About 70 percent of drivers get angry at slow drivers. Violent incidents on the roads recorded by police have increased 51 percent over five years. So, below are some tips about safe driving and handling road rage incidents.

- Don't allow someone to draw you into a test of wills on the highway. If someone is tailgating you, pull into the slow lane and let them pass.

- Don't tailgate others or cut them off in traffic.

- Don't drive in the passing lane.

- Don't take traffic problems personally.

- Avoid eye contact with an aggressive driver.

- Don't make obscene gestures. Use your horn sparingly, as a warning, not an outburst.

- Reduce stress by allowing ample time for your trip and creating a relaxing environment in your car.

- Consider carrying a cellular phone in your car to contact police in the event of an encounter with an aggressive driver.

- Driving is a cooperative activity. If you're aggressive, you may find other drivers trying to slow you down or get in your way. If you witness aggressive driving, stay out of the way and contact NMBPD at 843-280-5511 when you can and it is safe to do so.

We at the NMBPD wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy and safe New Years.

Crime Prevention Officer William McLeod, City of North Myrtle Beach Police Department