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May 18, 2018
As the Victoria Day long weekend approaches, the Injury Prevention Team at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is reminding everyone to stay safe on our roadways. Despite better weather and improved road conditions, each year LHSC’s trauma room sees an increase in serious injuries between May to September, accounting for 40% of the total annual trauma cases.
“In 2017, from the Victoria Day weekend to the Labour Day weekend, LHSC treated almost 350 severe trauma patients, which is an alarming number,” said Amy Makish, Nurse Practitioner in the LHSC Trauma Program. “We are particularly concerned about the numbers of pedestrians and cyclists and motorcyclists - that we are seeing. These individuals are more vulnerable to severe trauma when involved in a crash, and the results can be devastating”.
There are a number of factors that contribute to a change in driving patterns through the warm weather months - children out of school, increased numbers of bikes and motorcycles on the roads, cottage and vacation travel, increases in traffic volumes – but these factors only emphasize the need for drivers to slow down, and pay closer attention to what is going on around them.
“Everyone has a role to play in creating safe roadways,” says Makish. “The warm weather fools people into thinking they can let their guard down, drive a little faster, and allow themselves to be distracted from the road. Pedestrians and cyclists need to remember that the rules of the road apply to them as well."
Traumatic injuries are preventable and these safety tips can help to ensure that everyone remains safe while enjoying summer activities
Driving Safety – Stay focused on the road. Do not allow yourself to become distracted while driving. Always drive sober. Plan ahead to ensure you have a safe way home. Look out for pedestrians, cyclists, children and other drivers—share the road, be courteous and respectful.
Cycling (Bicycle or Motorcycle) – Wear your gear - every time. It is the law in Ontario that children and adolescents, under the age of 18, must wear a bicycle helmet while riding a bicycle on roadways or sidewalks. Wear it right - A helmet should fit 2 fingers above the brow, the straps should be positioned in a “V’ formation around the ears and one finger should fit between the chin and the fastened strap. It is the law to wear a helmet when operating or riding on a motorcycle. A helmet is your best protection from a traumatic or even fatal brain injury.
LHSC’s Trauma Program would like you to stay out of our trauma room this weekend. Stay safe and have a wonderful long weekend!