Road Safety & Christmas holidays
This time of year, is one of the most high-risk times on Australia Roads with many people hitting the road to attend Christmas parties, end of year celebrations, and heading towards the coast for a well-deserved break. Driver’s must remember that travelling during holiday periods can be riskier because of increased traffic volumes, congestion, tiredness, people driving in unfamiliar environments, and a higher number of people who are driving under the influence of alcohol.
If you decide to go away a few key points
- The first step is to make sure your vehicle is operating properly. The lights, oil, tires (condition and pressure level), belts and hoses, brake fluid, coolant and the condition of the battery should all be checked by a professional before leaving.
- Plan your route in advance and check traffic reports and weather conditions before you leave. As a backup, bring along a paper map. Even with a GPS system it's wise to bring along another option should something occur where using a GPS is not possible.
- Follow speed limits and remember excess traffic and congestion on the roads may mean you'll have to travel below posted limits. Drive defensively and don't respond to aggressive drivers: It's far less frustrating to let an aggressive driver pass than to become aggressive yourself
- Remember roads will be very busy with a lot more inexperienced driver on the roads.
- It sounds simple, but a good night's sleep before departing can help make the trip more enjoyable. Be sure to take regular breaks during long road trips as it can be very dangerous to drive when you're overly tired. Pull over and stop in a safe area if you are tired, or around every 100 miles or 2 hours.
- Be prepared for emergencies - keep a blanket, boots, an extra pair of gloves and a flashlight in the boot of your car and a big bottle of water.,
Make sure you have enough fuel to get you to your next fuel stop as some stops can be at least 200km in between.
- Let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to be there
- Finally, relax. Driving during the holiday season can be stressful. Frustration can lead to poor decisions and risky behaviour behind the wheel. However, with the right attitude and some pre-planning it can also be more enjoyable. Remember to relax and focus on what's truly important: reaching your destination safely\
Please note – In Australia you must drive on the left-hand side of the road irrespective of whether there are lines marked or not.
Other drivers (CAR / TRUCKS / TRACTORS/ BIKES) DO NOT EXPECT to find your car in the middle of the road.
Do not drive in the middle of the road. This notice is for YOUR safety!
Australian Christmas traditions
Christmas Day is when families and close friends gather together from all over Australia. The highlight of the day is the holiday midday dinner. Some families enjoy a traditional British Christmas dinner of roast turkey or ham and rich plum pudding doused in brandy and set aflame before it is brought to the table. The person who gets the favor baked inside will enjoy good luck all year round.
Other families head for the backyard barbie to grill their Christmas dinner in the sunshine. Many families even go to the beach or to the countryside and enjoy a picnic of cold turkey or ham and a salad.
If there was a Santa Claus delivering gifts on Christmas eve
- No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen
- There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn't (appear to) handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total - 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census)rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes. One presumes there's at least one good child in each.
- Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west(which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75-1/2 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding etc.
- This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man- made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second - a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour
- The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (see point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal anoint, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload - not even counting the weight of the sleigh - to 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison - this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth.
- 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as space crafts re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each. In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim)would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.
In conclusion — If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's dead now