Spinal cord injuries are one of the most severe injuries a person can sustain, often resulting in life-altering consequences. In critical cases, they can lead to permanent disability or even loss of life.
Spinal cord injuries are common in people aged 15 – 24, accounting for 30% of all cases. And the biggest cause of these injuries? Motor vehicle incidents.
Out of the 80% of reported spinal cord injuries resulting from traumatic accidents, 46% of those were motor vehicle related, including drivers, passengers and other unprotected road users such as motorcyclists.
There is no way to prevent motor vehicle accidents occurring. No matter how safely we drive, the unexpected can always happen. However, there are still steps we can take to reduce the risk of injury in the event of an accident.
Take steps towards a safer drive
- Seatbelts – Seatbelts save lives. There’s no doubt about it. Make sure all passengers, especially children are wearing a seatbelt or are riding in a safety seat appropriate for their age. Buckle up yourself to set an example.
- Avoid intoxication at all costs- Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or accept a lift from anybody who is. Not only are you putting your life at risk, but every other innocent road user is in danger.
- Stay focused - Avoid distractions like phone calls or texting while driving. It only takes a second of inattention to lose control behind the wheel.
- Slow down – Speeding is a factor in about one third of fatal road accidents in Australia and accounts for over 4,000 serious injuries each year. Don’t risk it – take your time and stick to the speed limit.
- Rest up – Driver fatigue is another major factor in road crashes. Seventeen hours without sleep has the same effect on your driving ability as having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05. Avoid driving when you’re feeling fatigued and remember to take a 15-minute break at least every two hours.
Shine Lawyers - We stand for safer roadsNext time you jump in your car, remember that spinal cord injuries don’t just affect the individual harmed. As well as the physical and psychological impacts on the person injured, family, friends and loved ones shoulder a significant burden in providing ongoing care and support.
Put safety first and be a responsible driver behind the wheel. You never know whose life you’re saving.
If you or a loved one has been impacted by a motor vehicle accident, help is available. At Shine Lawyers, we have a dedicated team of legal experts who exclusively practice in motor vehicle accident law.
Get in touch today and we'll help you access the support, care and medical treatment you need to get back on your feet.
Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: November 26, 2017.