Community, Featured,

Young drivers urged to consider car safety

Young drivers are being encouraged to get into cars with better safety features in a new advertising campaign.

The ad, produced by RoadSafe Gippsland in partnership with Latrobe Regional Health (LRH) features two young drivers involved in a head-on crash being brought into the LRH emergency department by ambulance.

One driver was in a car with fewer safety features and sustained critical injuries, while the other driver was in a safer car and is sitting up in bed with minor injuries.

It features LRH Emergency Department doctor Jay Weeraratne who is urging drivers to consider certain safety features when purchasing a vehicle.

The commercial is the third in a series “Setting kids up safely” funded by the Department of Transport and Planning’s Community Road Safety Grants Program and will be aired on Gippsland TV, radio and social media.

RoadSafe Gippsland chair Andrew Milbourne said younger drivers were more likely to be involved in a crash through inexperience behind the wheel, or risk-taking behaviours.

“We see a lot of crashes on a daily basis, and young drivers often make simple mistakes, but they will be less likely to be injured or killed if they are in a safer car,” Mr Milbourne said.

“You can find a 4-or-5-star safety rated vehicle for under $5000 so no matter what your budget is there will be a vehicle available with safety features to suit you.”

People in the market for a vehicle can check out the TAC How Safe is Your Car website, which lists the safety ratings, technologies and price range of makes and models.

Important safety features to look out for include Electronic Stability Control, Auto Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, airbags, side curtain airbags and Seatbelt Pre-tensioners.

Drivers aged between 18 and 25 account for 10 per cent of Victorian licence holders but make up 18 per cent of fatalities on Victorian roads, according to TAC data.

LRH chief executive Don McRae said emergency department nurses and doctors were sad to see young drivers end up in hospital in a critical condition because of road trauma.

“Too many young people are losing their lives on our roads because of unsafe vehicles, so we’re asking people to choose cars with the best safety features they can afford,” Mr McRae said.

“Safety technologies can make the difference between you ending up in critical care or walking away from a car crash.”