We are in the middle of the festive Twilight Zone, that peculiar period of the year between Christmas and New Year when the everyday and the special occasion collide.
For some, Boxing Day marked the end of the Christmas break and December 27 saw a return to life as normal, while for others it was just one of a pleasant blur of days between December 25 and January 2.
Cafes are juggling the orders of people on a time-limited lunch break and those who can relax with a second cuppa, while the roads are being shared by workers heading into a normal day and holiday-makers who are off-the-clock and creating their own schedules.
While holiday-speed coffee orders may not be a problem, traffic is very much a concern. The Christmas-New Year road toll currently stands at 19, almost triple the seven deaths recorded in 2016.
As NSW Police’s Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy has pointed out, the current death toll is running at more than one fatality a day.
In every instance, police and coroner’s courts will be left to gather and assess the evidence to determine how each crash occurred.
But each and every death should be a warning to drivers, passengers and pedestrians about the potential dangers on the road.
It’s a message police have been trying to get through for years: Fatigue, inattention, speed and stupidity can all cause fatal crashes.
Christmas and the summer holidays also bring their own added risks. Roads are busy and drivers may attempt to push through fatigue or dangerous conditions in a bid to get to their destination just that little bit sooner.
Every holiday period there are stories about drivers being arrested for travelling at high speed or when they were well over the drink-driving limit.
The question has been posed time and again, yet police are still left asking: Was it worth your life?
Would arriving just a few minutes later have really mattered that much?
There are families who this year woke on Christmas Day to the heartbreaking reality of having lost a loved one and, sadly, it is likely there will be more who will face the same tragedy on New Year’s Day.
Taking risks on the road is simply never worth it.