If you’re a water baby and a sun worshipper, South Africa is undoubtedly one of the best places in the world to celebrate the festive season.
Sure, our sun-splashed, summery surroundings in December are far removed from the snowy winter wonderland scenes depicted on Christmas cards and heralded in carols; but while our brethren in the northern hemisphere hit the slopes and bundle up in front of crackling log fires to stay warm, we have loads of summer fun, convening around our braai fires and hitting the surf to cool off.
However, one thing we here in South Africa do have in common with almost everyone around the world is that this is the time of year to break away and to be with loved ones. This often involves long distance travel. Unfortunately, December is also notorious for higher accident rates on our roads.
Driver fatigue, high speeds, drunk driving, reckless driving, bad weather and poor mechanical conditions of vehicles are just some of the reasons why the festive season is often marred with high death tolls on the roads. Sadly, this year has been no different. According to Arrive Alive, close to 550 people have already died on the country’s roads since December 1. IOL reports that more than 2 000 drivers have already been arrested for driving under the influence.
We realise that the merry festive season often goes hand in hand with alcohol consumption, but everyone can do their part to be responsible without having to put a cork in the celebration. Organise a designated driver, or be willing to relinquish your keys. Buckle up.
And to the sober person in the driver seat: also remember to slow down. Remain alert. Take frequent breaks during those long haul road trips.
Have a happy, safe, and wonderful holiday season, skatties! See you on the flip side.