OPINION: It can be a killer time of year on our roads
CHRISTMAS is generally a happy time for most people, but it does bring into focus two of Australia's biggest killers.
It's an unfortunate reality that as traffic on our roads triples during the busy holiday season, so will the number of fatalities.
And Christmas can put extra stress on families already at breaking point and put many women at further risk.
You can tell people until you are blue in the face to drive defensively, slow down, plan your trip and not to drink and drive or use your mobile phone while driving, but this kind of advice tends to get mixed up with all the other white noise out there.
Our usual choke points on the Pacific Highway are Woodburn and Ewingsdale.
But judging by the furious pace workers on the Tintenbar to Ewingsdale upgrade are going an early Christmas present could be on the cards.
Ironing out the curves and making the Pacific Highway dual carriageway from top to bottom should help to save lives.
But we are not there yet, unbelievably, after all these years.
Sadly, the festive season also puts extra strain on relationships and time spent together can exacerbate marital problems.
This year, more than any previous year, domestic violence has come out from behind closed doors and significant progress has been made.
Toughening the laws and improving the way we deal with domestic violence will hopefully lead to fewer deaths.
Just like our road toll, reducing deaths from domestic violence should be an aspirational goal from this year onwards.