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Traffic lessons from an old pro, Santa

December 22, 2012
By DAVE WERNER , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Would you agree that, however good we may think we are as drivers, we can always learn from someone that has far more experience than we do, and has driven many times more miles and has never had even a minor crash? I certainly would, and I think most of you would also. So, who would this person be? It would be the old pro in red, one we all respect and admire, and one who little children look up to more than anyone else Santa Claus himself.

Who else has traveled millions of miles over eons of years and never even had as much as a fender bender? So, the Traffic Safety Board (TSB) set up an interview with Santa, who was hard at work at his North Pole residence and workshop, but agreed to give us a few short minutes of his busy time. Following are excerpts from this interview.

TSB: Santa, is it true that you and your reindeer have never had a crash?

Santa: "Ho, Ho, Ho, well I really never thought about it, but I guess that's true. On Christmas Eve, we really don't have time to have a crash!"

TSB: That's incredible, Santa. How many miles have you flown with your reindeer without an accident?

Santa: "Golly, I really don't have any idea, but I know we travel over a million miles every Christmas. I guess over the many years, the miles add up."

TSB: What are some of the safety measures that have helped you to this amazing record?

Santa: "Ho, Ho, Ho, and Ho again! I suppose one thing that has helped is that we always travel at night, and I know you'll say that night travel is more dangerous than during the day, but at night, there are fewer travelers, and therefore less chance to collide. Another thing, my team is led by Rudolph, who has a very red shiny nose, and whatever cars are in the way just pull over to the side and stop to give us the right-of-way. Ho, Ho, Ho, I can thank Rudolph's red nose for that!"

TSB: What else, Santa?

Santa: "Ho, Ho, I have been told that, although the distances motorists travel backward are very small, backing accidents are many. Old Santa just never backs up there just isn't time to go backward must always keep moving ahead, and that is much safer than backing."

TSB: All well and good, but there must be more!

Santa: "Ho, Ho, well, one very important thing is that we always leave early enough to have plenty of time to get to all the houses without having to speed. For sure, we do go plenty fast - how else would we get around the world in time - but the important lesson is not to have to make up lost time. Remember, we do our traveling in the winter, and it is sometimes very slippery. On our travels we often see cars off the road because they were going too fast for the slippery conditions. That's a no-no! And, we always anticipate things so we never have to start fast or screech to a sudden stop if we did that, all the toys would fall out of the sleigh."

TSB: Santa, are you into texting or cell phoning while you are delivering toys?

Santa: "Ho, Ho, Ho, absolutely never! I have enough to do keeping Rudolph and the other reindeer on course how could I ever text or use a cell phone? There's a place for multi-tasking, but it's not while guiding my reindeer and sleigh, and never while driving. And, you know what? All those drivers around the world that try to do those things while driving are just asking for trouble. They can get away with it for a while, but eventually, it will catch up with them."

TSB: You're right about that we're seeing more and more crashes from driver distraction than ever before. It's as big a problem as driving while intoxicated. Speaking of intoxicated, do you ever have a "nip" while traveling all over the world?

Santa: "Ho, Ho, Ho, and Ho a few more times! I would just love a nip, or a whole lot of nips, but it's just not worth it. If I did that, my ability to get to all the good children would be severely diminished. And, can you imagine what people would think if, after I left their home, they could smell alcohol? I wouldn't be welcome in their homes again."

TSB: We know we have a limited amount of time to talk with you, Santa, but could you give us one more tip on safe travel?

Santa" "Ho, Ho, Ho. I would say the best advice I could give is have a great attitude when you drive. For me, Christmas Eve is the best time of the year, a time when I can make others happy, and any time I can make others happy, it makes me happy too! And, when someone is in charge of an automobile, truck, or sleigh and reindeer, if they have good attitude, they will drive much safer!"



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