Gympie's road statistics paint grim picture

THESE are the statistics that should put every Gympie region driver on notice - 110 lives lost and 2744 people injured on our roads.

The Gympie Regional Council's road toll statistics for 2001-2013 - revealed during an APN Newsdesk analysis of Queensland Government traffic data - are shocking.

Dr Logan Stuckey and his Nambour General Hospital colleagues would love to see every day free of road deaths and injuries. Nambour ER staff treat crash patients from the Gympie, Noosa and Sunshine Coast regions every day.

"We see everything from very minor injuries to people that are emotionally distressed to the other extreme which is severe life-threatening and fatal trauma so it's a full spectrum of patients," Dr Stuckey said. "It would be unusual for there to be a day that goes by where there isn't some form of injury that relates to motor vehicles."

Dr Stuckey said the worst part of the job was knowing that many of the patients were there as result of human error.

"It's frustrating when you're aware that society does partake in activities that makes the risk of them hurting themselves greater and when the consequences of injury are so severe and so disabling - it's really unfortunate and very sad," he said.

Dr Stuckey said a driver's reckless behaviour could ruin an innocent road user's life.

"In the case of severe trauma, the time spent in hospital is usually a number of weeks and there is often ongoing rehabilitation and often permanent disability that the patient and their family has to live with."

While all doctors and nurses receive extensive training in dealing with the impacts of road trauma, sometimes there is no escaping the emotional toil. "Our training helps us become accustomed to dealing with the impacts and we support each other - it's part of the job," Dr Stuckey said.

"We often will debrief after severe traumas or emotionally charged situations to support each other as a team through those events."

Dr Stuckey urged the region's road users avoid risky behaviours.

"Tragedy can be just around the corner. No-one really thinks it is going to happen to them," he said.

"The message I want to get out there is to minimise the risk activity which increases the risk of being severely hurt.

"Avoid drink driving, obey the seed limits and obey safe following distances and drive to the conditions."

Gympie Times


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