It’s that time of year again. License plates from states far to our north jam our roads, as seasonal residents flock back to Southwest Florida. This annual influx of “snowbirds” or “tourist” always impacts those of us who live in the region year round. Roads are simply more crowded and this means longer commutes than we’ve become accustomed to. Changes to the landscape, as a result of new construction, impacts our seasonal residents as well, removing familiar landmarks and replacing them with new communities and shopping centers. These changes can cause confusion intensifying the dangers of South Florida driving. Our response to increased traffic caused by tourists and seasonal residents should be simple. Be patient. Allow more time to get where you need to go. Be considerate with other drivers on the roads. Allow greater following distances between vehicles, so you can be prepared for sudden stops and lane changes. When you start to get angry about the changes our seasonal residents bring, stop and think about those who live in Southern California where long commutes are the norm all year long. Be thankful that you don’t have to drive through snow to get to work. Appreciate the things about this region that make it so popular with people from “up North.” Stay calm, slow down, and have a fantastic day!