Almost 20,000 students from NSW high schools have had a confronting dose of reality at road safety education event, bstreetsmart, which ends today.
There was shocked silence during a simulated car crash at the event at Allphones Arena, Homebush, where a passenger lay dead in a pool of blood after flying through the windscreen of a car.
She had shown the driver a text message just minutes before he hit a motorcyclist and a pole at about 70km/h.
What followed was a step-by-step dissection of the role of police, ambulance, and fire and rescue services in a fatal crash situation.
Event organiser and trauma co-ordinator a Westmead Hospital, Stephanie Wilson, said the re-enactment, followed by crash survivors telling their stories, often drove home the message that no one is invincible.
‘‘Although the content is highly confronting it’s really important that students see all different facets of a motor vehicle crash,’’ she said.
‘‘They need to understand that it is not just a matter of life or death, that there are shades of grey in between.
‘‘These can include brain injuries as well as other permanent disabilities which are with them for life.’’
Cumberland High School student Emily Chate, 16, said she was struck by how easily an accident could happen.
‘‘When you see it on the news it always seems very far away from reality, then actually seeing it there right in front of you, it’s quite shocking,’’ she said.
Schools that attended include Castle Hill High, Cumberland High, Hills Grammar School, and Marian College.
Roads and Trauma: the numbers
- 20,000 NSW students were exposed to road safety program bstreetsmart across three days.
- 651 major trauma admissions to Westmead Hospital in 2012 involved people under age 26.
- 15 per cent of license holders are aged 17 to 25.
- 36 per cent of road fatalities in NSW involve drivers under age 26.
- $1.5 billion was the cost — human, vehicle-related and economic — of road crashes in 2010.