Smash injuries are preventable

Friday December 08, 2017 Published in Letters to the Editor
An ambulance leaves the scene of Wednesday’s motorcycle crash at the Avatiu roundabout. 17120613 An ambulance leaves the scene of Wednesday’s motorcycle crash at the Avatiu roundabout. 17120613

I am both appalled and angered, (but not surprised), at your front page report on Thursday, December 7 headlined, “Roundabout crash injures motorcyclist.”

 

The motorcyclist seriously hurt and taken to hospital with a head injury.

While the report indicated the section of road (Avatiu roundabout) may be a major factor in the cause of the accident, the result of the accident, the head injury, was, to a great extent preventable by wearing a helmet.

The facts regarding helmet use are clear and have been for a number of years.

In August 2006, the World Health Organisation published a globally-researched article titled, “Helmet Use Saves Lives”, which promoted increased helmet use as an effective method of reducing road injuries and deaths.

“Wearing a helmet is the single most effective way of reducing injuries and fatalities resulting from motorcycle and bicycle crashes. Wearing a helmet has been shown to decrease the risk and severity of injuries among motorcyclists by about 70 per cent, the likelihood of death by 40 per cent and substantially reduce the costs of health care associated with such crashes”

www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2006/pr44/en

The World Health Organisation is intensifying efforts to support governments to increase helmet use through a new publication: a road safety manual for decision makers and practitioners.

Please someone read it. Protect your people, your whanau (family), your mokopuna (your children), everyone from harm. Many people are affected by accidents, not only the victims. Head injury victims are often affected for the rest of their lives. This is preventable. Please make wearing of helmets the law and compulsory as have most countries in the world already.

            David Knox

Editor’s note: The Cook Islands does in fact have safety helmet legislation. However, it applies only to tourists and those aged 16-25. It is ignored by a large percentage of the population.

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