World Trauma Day – Do not be a statistic
Today, 17 October, is World Trauma Day. Trauma is said to be a major cause of death and disability across the world. In South Africa, one of the common causes of death and disability is road-related incidents. Daily, ER24 attends to collisions that resulted in people sustaining severe or fatal injuries. Sadly, despite all efforts by highly qualified expert paramedics, there is nothing that can be done for some patients as a result of the severity of injuries sustained. For survivors, assessment, treatment and transportation to the closest appropriate hospital by paramedics is the key focus. Time is of the essence. Injuries sustained during these incidents include those to the head, severe impact to internal organs, broken bones… the list is endless. For some, even with expert treatment, severity of the injuries sustained leaves little if any room for recovery. Thousands of people die or suffer injuries that lead to life-long problems as a result of collisions on South African roads every year… in many instances, due to causes that could have been prevented. Speeding, driving while under the influence of liquor, driving un-roadworthy vehicles, unrestrained children in vehicles, not using child car seats where necessary, texting and driving… these are choices that motorists make, choices that not only pose a risk to them, but innocent people around them. The festive season is almost upon us. That means that there will be more long distance drives, people rushing to get to their destinations, more parties, more alcohol and reckless behaviour. We urge people to take their safety as well as that of others seriously. How do you prevent being a road fatality statistic? Below are some tips:
- Ensure your vehicle is roadworthy. Take your vehicle to a dealership for a safety check.
- Be patient and alert while driving.
- Speeding must be avoided.
- Keep a safe following distance.
- Ensure children are buckled up or appropriately restrained.
- Avoid road rage.
- Do not drive while under the influence or liquor or drugs.
- Ensure you get enough rest prior to leaving as well as take breaks while driving.
- Make use of a hands-free kit and refrain from texting and driving.