Preventing serious injuries on our roads this Summer

Police and health staff are calling on Tasmanians to take extra care on the roads ahead of what will be a four-day weekend for many.

“This year we’ve had two people lose their lives on Tasmanian roads, and we’ve had 30 people seriously injured in crashes,” said Assistant Commissioner, Adrian Bodnar.

“Being seriously injured in a crash can have devastating lifelong effects, and it goes without saying that any death on our roads is tragic.”

“With a public holiday this Thursday, many people will be taking a four-day long weekend and making the most of the summer weather.”

“This means we’ll have more people on our roads, so we are again calling on all road users to take extra care.”

“We know that most crashes can be avoided.”

“We’re asking motorists to remember the ‘fatal five’: speeding, seatbelts, drink and drug driving, inattention, and fatigue.”

“If you’re hitting the road this summer, know that police will be out there enforcing the rules.”

“Being caught is one consequence.” 

“Causing a crash that results in serious injury or death, is far worse.”

Royal Hobart Hospital Trauma Service Deputy Director and Emergency Physician Dr Jenny Jamieson said:

“As the State’s major trauma centre providing care and treatment for Tasmania’s most severely injured patients, we know there can be a range of serious injuries resulting from a car crash, including traumatic brain injuries, serious chest injuries, abdominal injuries where internal organs might be injured and various orthopaedic injuries.

“Death tolls are often discussed in road campaigns – and Tasmania’s toll last year was tragic – but the potential for lengthy rehabilitation or long term disability from such injuries is often not talked about. 

“Since establishing the Tasmanian Trauma Registry in April 2020, we have seen 171 major trauma patients who have sustained serious life-threatening injuries as a result of road traffic crashes.

“The reality is that road trauma injuries are often a predictable outcome of risk-taking behaviour such as speeding, fatigue or being distracted by your device whilst driving.

“On behalf of the RHH Trauma Service, I would encourage Tasmanians to follow the road safety advice and avoid risk-taking behaviour.”

Ambulance Tasmania Paramedic Katrina Ostrenski said:

“Ambulance Tasmania paramedics are often first on the scene to vehicle crashes and they see the devastating aftermath of unsafe road behaviour. 

“Monitoring your own behaviour, removing distractions like mobile phones, wearing seatbelts, and adhering to speed limits, road and weather conditions, and the blood alcohol limit can reduce your risk of serious injury or death and reduce the risk to others on the road.”