Road Safety

Road Safety Infographic

People in rural and remote areas are significantly over-represented in the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads. Country people are three times more likely to die as a result of a transport accident than their city cousins and research by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows that people living outside the major cities have nearly twice the rate of serious road-related injury as those living within them. Tragically, the death rate in transport-related accidents for young men aged 20-24 years living in the country is nearly four times higher than it is for those in the same age group in the city. 


Indeed - critical illness doesn't respect geography. Hence the need to have established trauma systems for rural many parts of Australia, expert help via RFDS or State-based retrieval may take hours to arrive. Local ambulance officers may be volunteer-based.

And yet local rural doctors often have advanced skills in resuscitation and airway management - and yet are not formally included in trauma system responses.

This is puzzling - more so as UK and NZ have the BASICS and PRIME systems respectively, as a means of activating local trained persons to respond to support prehospital services, only when and if needed. Whislt the prehospital environment is no place for enthusiastic amateurs, in Australia rural doctors have airway competence through theatre and ongoing EM skills through oncall.

It would be great to establish a national network of 'rural responders' who can be mobilised in times of crisis - to support local assets, not replace. We do this in South Australia with RERN (rural emergency responder network) to bring hospital-level care to the roadside.

Would love to get RHA support for a similar project nationwide...

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