17 November 2014 - Road Safety Week

North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) is backing Brake charity’s Road Safety Week campaign, which is running from 17 to 23 November 2014, by encouraging the public to take action for safer roads.

Since November 2013, the Service has responded to 18,705 road traffic collisions (RTCs), of which 38 per cent were in Greater Manchester, 27 per cent were in Cumbria and Lancashire and 35 per cent were in Cheshire and Merseyside.

These road incidents resulted in the dispatch of 31,655 emergency crews to help, with air ambulances being dispatched 605 times and paramedics in rapid response vehicles being dispatched over 10,000 times in the year.

In almost 12,000 cases, the patients involved were taken to an Emergency Department by ambulance crews for further treatment.

November was the busiest time for road incidents last year, with February this year receiving the fewest 999 calls for RTCs.

NWAS is urging the public to take Brake’s pledge to do to do simple things to protect themselves and people around them, which includes driving slower, not getting in a car with anyone under the influence of drink or drugs, and never making calls or texts whilst driving.

The Trust will also be sharing hints and tips throughout the week on its Twitter and Facebook pages, from advice on safe driving in poor weather conditions and performing vital vehicle checks, to driving skills and the training required to become an ambulance service responder.

Advanced Paramedic at NWAS, Jon Price, said: “Responding to road traffic collisions can be stressful as patients often suffer serious injuries, and you never know what you’re going to face until you get there.

“I recall one incident where a father and son were travelling in convoy late at night when the son fell asleep at the wheel and strayed into the path of an oncoming HGV. Unfortunately, the impact was so severe that the son died immediately.

“The lasting impact for me was realising the father, in the vehicle following, had watched the entire incident unfold in front of his eyes.

“I cannot imagine anything worse than seeing your own child die in front of you. I will take the memory of that incident to my grave.

“Please take care on the roads, whether as a pedestrian or a driver, and commit to at least one of Brake’s pledges. We don’t want to see you in the back of an ambulance.”

To mark the start of the awareness week, NWAS tweeted details of all the RTCs we were called to across the region on Monday 17 November, covering both the morning and evening rush hours, which helped give an insight into the scale of RTCs ambulance crews attend on an average day.  The Trust’s emergency driving instructors will also be taking over the twittersphere to answer questions from the public at 1pm on Thursday 20 November – follow @NWAmbulance.

Information about Brake’s campaign can be found by searching for #roadsafetyweek.