Tragically, 173 young people have lost their lives in road crashes in the past decade, State Government records show.
These sobering statistics of the impact of road trauma on younger people come as more than 7500 teenagers from 70 schools across the state attend RAA’s road safety awareness event Street Smart High this week.
Alarmingly, another 1394 young people aged 17 to 24 have been seriously injured on SA roads in the past decade, leaving many to suffer life-long trauma.
Last year 169 people in this age group were seriously injured on our roads, up from 117 in 2020 and the highest on record since 2012, when 171 people suffered serious injuries.
RAA’s Street Smart High – the state’s largest youth road safety event – is held today and tomorrow at the Entertainment Centre and is supported by Think! Road Safety.
One of the presenters sharing their story at the event is Holly Scott, who lost control of her car in the Adelaide Hills, hitting a tree and suffering numerous broken bones and a traumatic brain injury in July 2017.
“Doctors didn’t know if I would survive my first night in hospital,’’ she said.
Holly will share her story of survival, and her continuing struggle to overcome physical and emotional injuries, with thousands of youngsters to warn them how easy it is to become a car crash victim.
“If I can get through to just one student at this event how serious and how quickly your life can change from a car crash – that’s all I want,’’ she said.
The annual event aims to reduce road trauma through developing positive road safety knowledge, skills and attitudes amongst our next generation of road users.
The four-hour program includes a simulated crash scene, real life stories from people whose lives have been affected by road trauma, and a demonstration on the importance of ANCAP star ratings when choosing a car.
RAA Community and Corporate Affairs General Manager Emily Perry said it was extremely important to educate novice drivers about the risks and dangers they faced when in a car or on a motorcycle.
“Tragically, each year on average during the past decade 157 young people are seriously injured or killed on SA roads,’’ Ms Perry said.
“At Street Smart High, students will witness a realistic simulated crash scene that includes a pre-and-post-crash analysis.
“After attending Street Smart High, around 90 per cent of students who have attended past events reported they improved their road safety knowledge and skills.
“It also changes behaviour, with 89 per cent of students attending the event indicating they would pay more attention when driving, be more careful on the road and know what to do if they witness or are involved in a crash.’’
More than 75,000 thousand year 10-12 students from schools across South Australia have attended Street Smart High since it began in 2009.