WITH THIRTY PER cent of recent road accident victims aged 25 or under, raising awareness of road safety among that age group really is a life or death situation.
Emergency services and Civil Defence volunteers helped bring the reality of road traffic accidents home to about 200 students at University College Dublin yesterday, staging a ‘crash’ on campus.
- (Warning: Some of the photographs of the simulated crash below are distressing. Don’t read further if you don’t wish to see them.)
While college authorities had spread the word to students that there would be a simulated incident taking place at 11am, a spokesperson for the project said that some students would have come unsuspecting upon the scene.
The staged scenario saw emergency services including gardai, Dublin Fire Brigade and the HSE National Ambulance Service paramedics attend the scene of a crash between two cars. One woman, not wearing a seatbelt, was dressed for a serious head injury and possible spinal issues while the other driver, a man in his late teens, was breathalysed and ‘arrested’ by gardai.
The event was organised by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council – in association with the Dublin Metropolitan Area traffic corps – to bring home a road safety message to the onlooking young drivers. According to Seamus Storan, road safety engineer of DLRCC, it also served as valuable training for the emergency services involved.
A spokesperson for the event said that the commitment of those taking part to hammering home the message of road safety was so high that the firefighters volunteered to come along after their own length work shift had finished, using reserve fire engines and equipment to cut the two ‘drivers’ from the cars.
Seamus Storan said:
This is an innovative way of bringing home the real impact of car accidents which the emergency services must attend on a daily basis nationwide.
While collisions can have many causes, the one thing that all serious car collisions have in common is that they destroy lives forever and place an immense burden on families and communities.
This initiative is targeting the 18 – 24 age groups where accident statistics show the highest fatality rates.
It isn’t just about fatalities – in 2012, there were 6,389 people injured on the roads. A total of 162 people died on our roads – 29 pedestrians, 8 cyclists, 95 car occupants, 19 motorbikers and 11 others. We are now heading towards the 150-person mark in road deaths so far this year.
These images were taken during yesterday’s simulation. They are incredibly powerful but also distressing in some cases, so be warned before you click through the slideshow: