[Editor's Note: The following is the eighth in a series of safe-driving tips from Bob Sharp, a Sherman resident and member of the Sherman Traffic Safety Work Group.]

We're right in the middle of the holiday season, and it's easy to see were surrounded by snow, ice and slick roads.

A few other cautions would be appropriate at this time of year.

After a trip to the mall or to the supermarket, you're often loaded up with gifts and goodies. Have you ever thought of what would happen to all those packages if you had to stop short or were involved in an accident?

Packages and their contents could become flying missiles causing, at the least, some significant damage and, at the most, serious injury.

Take a minute to look around before you drive off and be sure loose items are not blocking your vision and are stowed away properly.

Stress is high this time of year and traffic is heavy. Everyone wants to get where they're going or get the best parking spot at the mall.

Fuses can be short. Aside from trying to put it in perspective for yourself, if you encounter another driver who might be hostile or exhibiting road rage, be smart and avoid them.

It's not worth confronting the risk when you don't know them or their agenda, so stay safe and out of their way.

And how about the use of a designated driver? Any impairment from party spirits can put you, your passengers and other vehicles at severe risk both for a DUI ticket or much worse.

Preplan what will be going on at a party and be willing to admit you'll need a designated driver. Sharp driving needs sharp faculties.

I'd like to take a moment to plug the work of the Sherman Traffic Safety Work Group and ask for your help.

Since its formation several years ago, this group has worked hard to raise safe driving awareness in our area. We've had programs for the kids in our local school, Survive the Drive for new and almost new drivers and their families, a recent and highly effective program to help mature drivers polish up their driving skills and learn some new ones for themselves along with many other initiatives.

Now, we'd like to reach out to you to ask for your suggestions about programs you think would benefit our driving public. We would welcome your thoughts about both the type of programs as well as the audiences you think they would benefit.

Remember to remember: No distractions and no texting while driving.

If you have a question or a suggestion for future Sharp Driving tips, please send it along to me in care of the Sherman Traffic Safety Work Group at SharpsTips@gmail.com.

My best wishes for a wonderful holiday season.

Bob Sharp was a six-time, Sports Car Club of America national racing champion and IMSA GTU champion with 10 starts and 10 wins; past Nissan and Ferrari-Maserati car dealer; 50 years of selling cars and racing with Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Walter Payton and his son, Scott Sharp. Bob wants to help future, new and experienced drivers have fun but stay safe in a lifetime adventure in the craft of driving.