Car accident injuries can be life-changing, AMA warns

Date: Jan 13, 2015

Car accident injuries can have life-changing ramifications for the people involved in vehicle crashes, sometimes resulting in total and permanent disabilities.

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) said 28 people lost their lives due to incidents on the country’s roads over the 2014-15 festive season – a figure that is unchanged from last year. However, AMA President Brian Owler also highlighted how significant the impact of car accident injuries can be.

“The road toll is devastating at any number, but it does not include the people who sustained injuries as a result of crashes,” he stated.

“Injuries in road accidents can be very severe and cause permanent harm, including brain damage and paralysis.”

According to Mr Owler, a total and permanent disability may not result in a death, but it’s still an extremely traumatic event for the individual and their loved ones.

As such, he urged drivers to “buckle down” and take more care on the roads this year to prevent accidents from potentially ruining or ending lives.

Car accident risks

The AMA said there are a number of common contributing factors in car accident injuries, including speeding, fatigue and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“Although the Christmas holiday reporting season might be over, there are still many people winding up their holidays,” Mr Owler stated.

“Research shows that fatigue can be just as dangerous as other road safety issues, such as drink driving.”

He warned motorists to plan regular breaks and switch with another driver to prevent tiredness causing an accident. People were also advised to remain within the speed limit and be aware of road conditions. Mr Owler added that this year’s death toll was still high despite strong efforts to mitigate risks in several states.

Accidents in NSW

Police in NSW conducted the Operation Safe Arrival campaign throughout the Christmas and New Year period, which attempted to reduce car accident injuries and deaths using a number of innovative measures.

These included high-visibility patrol cars, double demerits for infractions and breathalyser tests. In fact, more than 830,000 people were analysed for alcohol consumption, nearly 260,000 more than the previous year.

Of the drivers stopped, 1,273 were charged with drink-driving offences. However, there were still 11 fatalities across the state over the three-week initiative – the same number as when the 2013-14 campaign was carried out.

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