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Sydney students learn the traumatic consequences of risky behaviour
Leading car insurer, AAMI, has teamed up with Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) to launch a program that brings teenagers into the hospital to show them the graphic effects of risk-related behavior.
The P.A.R.T.Y. (Prevent Alcohol and Rick-related Trauma in Youth) program, sponsored by AAMI Skilled Drivers, is an internationally recognised program launched at RNSH today.
In 2012, 15 per cent of young people aged 15 to 25 who presented to NSW hospitals were there as a result of severe trauma injuries. In the past five years, among the same age group, 1638 young people died as a result of road trauma without ever making it to hospital.
The aim of the P.A.R.T.Y program is to reduce these numbers. High school students will be shown in the hospital, not the classroom, what can happen to them if they engage in risky behaviour such as drinking, using drugs and texting while driving.
Dr Tony Joseph, Head of Trauma at RNSH, said the students will spend time with staff who deal with the impact of trauma on young lives. Throughout the day they will get to speak to staff working in emergency, intensive care, burns, spinal, neurosurgical and rehabilitation wards.
“By exposing them to the traumatic consequences of risk-related behaviour, we hope to change their perceptions and have a positive impact on the choices they make in the future,” Dr Joseph said.
P.A.R.T.Y. program students will take part in inter-active sessions and learn about injury, risk, choices and consequences from health professionals who treat young people living with the consequences of on a daily basis. A wrecked car will also be brought to the hospital for the day.
The NSW Minister for Health, Jillian Skinner, supports the program and was at RNSH on the day it launched to talk to students and doctors.
“I’m hopeful that a program like this, which demonstrates the real consequences of risky behaviour on the lives of young people and their friends and families, will result in less of this age group ending up in hospital, or worse,” Mrs Skinner said.
More than 70 per cent of students who participated in the same program run by The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne said it made them wake up to how they could cause or suffer a major injury if they undertook risky behaviour.
AAMI Corporate Affairs Manager, Reuben Aitchison, said AAMI’s involvement with the P.A.R.T.Y. program at The Alfred had taught them the value of the program.
“It’s not about the technical skills of young drivers, it is about the choices they make when they get behind the wheel. In this, the P.A.R.T.Y. program and AAMI Skilled Drovers are closely aligned, focusing on raising awareness of the potential consequences of driving decisions,” said Reuben.
DANGEROUS DRIVING BEHAVIOUR STATISTICS (AAMI):
- More than half (54 per cent) of young NSW drivers drive at least 10km over the speed limit at least some of the time, with 13 per cent exceeding the speed limit by 10km or more at least half the time.
- More than half (54 per cent) of young NSW drivers admit to sending or reading a text message while driving in the past year.
- Approximately 31 per cent of young NSW drivers have used their mobile phone or tablet to read emails or check the internet while driving, while nearly one in 10 (nine per cent) have updated their Facebook status while driving.
- Eleven per cent of young NSW drivers admit to ‘making out’ while driving in the past year.
- One in 10 young NSW drivers have driven with too many people in the car in the past year.
- Passengers are at risk, too, with more than a third (39 per cent) of young people admitting to being a passenger in a vehicle where the driver drove in a dangerous way to show off.
About the 2013 AAMI Crash Index Study
Newspoll Market Research conducted an independent internet survey of 3726 Australian drivers aged18 years and older in 2013, including 973 drivers aged 18 to 24 years. Data was collected in line with ISO 20252 – Market & Social Research and has been weighted with current ABS population demographics to ensure any extrapolation of results is representative of age, sex and area.
About AAMI Skilled Drivers
More than 85,000 P-platers have been through the AAMI Skilled Drivers Course since it launched in 1982. It operates in seven capital cities across Australia and is free to AAMI Comprehensive Motor policyholders, as well as the children and grandchildren of Comprehensive Motor policy holders.
Analysis of AAMI’s accident claims data suggests that both the frequency and severity of accidents is lower for drivers 18-24 who have been through the Skilled Drivers program than for those who have not. This trend continues into later life, with the data suggesting that drivers between 25 and 34 who have been through the course are also likely to have fewer and less severe accidents.