Arrive at your destination, not hospital this Easter
Over 1,000 people were injured as a result of motor vehicle accidents this summer, prompting an urgent warning by emergency and trauma specialists from The Alfred ahead of the Easter period.
The Alfred’s acting director of trauma A/Prof Joseph Mathew said injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents have continued to soar as more people get back on the roads.
“For the first part of summer we noticed that many people were still minimising their movement post lockdown, but when we entered the new year that changed and numbers have steadily increased,” he said.
“We had over 650 people present to us following a motor vehicle accident, while the number of presentations following an incident with a motorbike was over 770 – which continues a really concerning trend.”
The large number of injuries prompted A/Prof Mathew to urge motorists to be extra cautious behind the wheel this Easter.
“There’s lots more people out on the road heading away for the long weekend. We’re asking that while you’re on the road please take extra care – slow down, obey the speed limits, don’t get behind the wheel if you’re fatigued and of course stay well away from the driver’s seat if you’ve been drinking.”
While injuries involving cars and motorbikes continue to cause concern, an alarming new trend involving escooters has developed.
“This summer we had 84 people present to us with injuries from an accident involving an e-scooter,” A/Prof Mathew said.
“That’s over double the number we had from the previous summer, which was 41.
“One of the main problems we’ve seen with these scooters is that they got quite popular during lockdown, so people weren’t used to riding them with a lot of traffic and pedestrians around.
“Likewise, drivers weren’t used to them being on the road, so it created a perfect storm when restrictions were lifted.”
A/Prof Mathew said injuries caused by accidents involving e-scooters caused some of the more significant injuries his team saw in recent months.
“You’re largely unprotected when you’re on an e- scooter and the injuries sustained are quite serious and, in some cases, devastating.
“The age group associated with these accidents is commonly younger and their injuries can affect the rest of their lives,” he said.
“There’s often severely damaged and broken bones, spinal damage, significant trauma to vital organs and brain damage associated not just with scooters, but with all motor vehicle accidents.”