Driver error takes rising toll on lives
❝show Statistics that about 90 per cent of crashes are due to a driver error. — Owen Maitland
THE devastating loss of four lives in a 24-hour period on Whitsunday roads last week has highlighted a 36 per cent increase in car crash injuries involving CQ Rescue operations since this time last year.
RACQ CQ Rescue said Mackay rescue helicopter missions so far this year, transferring patients due to injuries suffered as a result of traffic accidents, had topped 30, eight higher than for the same period last year.
Base manager and pilot Owen Maitland said the number of crashes they attended and airlifted patients from had increased significantly this year, with many patients sustaining critical injuries including fractures, lacerations and even spinal and internal injuries.
“Statistics show that about 90 per cent of crashes are due to a driver error, such as being distracted, fatigued or even going a little over the speed limit,” Mr Maitland said.
In the first four months of the year, RACQ CQ Rescue airlifted 15 injured patients, with some injuries occurring due to momentary lapses in judgement or attention.
Mr Maitland said death as a result of a crash was not uncommon, particularly at high speeds on highways.
“Something as simple as not leaving the recommended safe following distance could change your life, or that of another person’s, completely,” he said.
“Fatigue is another avoidable factor.”
RACQ CQ Rescue is calling on motorists to take urgent action to end the rising death and injury toll following the tragic Bruce Highway fatalities that shocked the region recently.
These sentiments were echoed by local police who have been increasing operations on the region’s roads for Road Safety Week which began on Monday and will continue until August 31.
Whitsunday Police said they would be out in full force targeting drivers under the influence as well as inattentive drivers using mobile phones or failing to follow basic road rules.
RISE IN ACCIDENTS: Rescue pilot Owen Maitland.