Young drivers are often the ones who fall victim to road crashes linked to alcohol. Now in an effort to tackle this problematic issue among the youth, Insurer AAMI and Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) have joined forces to implement a new road safety campaign aimed at young drivers.
There is an increasing body of research that shows underage drinking as the leading cause of deaths in teenagers. Causes of teen alcohol related deaths range from drink driving, suicides and homicides related to drinking but drink driving is one of the greatest factors.
The cleverly named P.A.R.T.Y Program aims to bring high school students into the hospital to see trauma patients first hand in an effort to shock them into doing the right thing. (P.A.R.T.Y stands for Prevent Alcohol and Risk Related Trauma in Youth). The group hopes that young people will begin to better understand the consequences of drink driving, drug driving as well as distracted driving if they see it first-hand rather than just being told of the dangers.
According to statistics provided by AAMI, 15 per cent of young people between 15 and 25 years of age who came to NSW hospitals for treatment were there as a result of severe traumatic injuries.
Perhaps even more alarming is the fact that over the last 5 years, 1638 young people in the same age group died as a result of road trauma without even making it to the hospital for treatment.
A post on www.themotorreport.com.au explains more about the initiative:
According to AAMI research, 54 percent young drivers in NSW admit to exceeding the speed limit by 10km/h or more “some of the time”; while 13 percent admit to exceeding the speed limit “at least half the time”.
More than half admitted to sending or reading text messages while driving and 31 percent had used a phone or tablet to read emails while on the move. An alarming 90 percent said they had updated their Facebook status while driving.
And it’s not just mobile phones and speeding that are concerning the insurer: 10 percent of young drivers admit to having driven with too many passengers in the car while 11 percent admitted to ‘making out’ while driving.
The post also explains that students will be given time to spend with the staff from various departments in the hospital from the emergency ward, intensive care, burns unit, spinal, neurological and rehabilitation wards because these are the wards that deal with victims of road crashes and other alcohol induced mishaps.
According to a doctor at the hospital, by exposing young people to the consequences of drink driving, it is hoped their perceptions will change and will hopefully result in more responsible behaviour.
The post goes on to explain:
Head of Trauma at RNSH, Dr Tony Joseph, said the students will spend time with staff from the emergency, intensive care, burns, spinal, neurosurgical and rehabilitation wards who deal with the impact of trauma on young lives.
“By exposing them to the traumatic consequences of risk-related behaviour, we hope to change their perceptions and have a positive impact on the choices they make in the future,” Dr Joseph said.
A similar program was carried out at Alfred Hospital in Melbourne and of the students who participated, 70 per cent expressed the positive impact that the program had had on them, hopefully the NSW program will be equally successful.