Tradies to tragedies

Sunday 22nd August 2021

Study draws focus to young men hammered by road trauma

YOUNG male apprentices face unique pressures adding to their increased risk of involvement in dangerous car crashes, a leading road safety advocacy group says.

Data reveals almost one in three workplace fatalities in Victoria results from a vehicle collision, while 75 per cent of young drivers who die on the state’s roads are male.

The Fit to Drive Foundation this week is launching a pilot study called RoadWork – during National Tradies Month – targeting the highly vulnerable group of predominantly male apprentices who account for a disproportionate number of road fatalities and injuries on our roads.

Fit to Drive chief Brad Crofts said apprentices often faced compounding pressures to engage in unsafe driving behaviours for a variety of reasons.

“They can also endure poor working conditions impacting their road safety, including but not limited to long working hours, job insecurity and workplace hierarchies,” Mr Crofts said.

“Young apprentices are at risk of some of the highest road-related serious injury or fatality.”

It can also be revealed Victorian males aged 16-25 claim an average of 131 days of WorkCover due to transport accidents.

The pilot aims to encourage young male apprentices to make smarter decisions, either as drivers or passengers in an effort to reduce the alarming road trauma statistics.

“We think the program will be of interest in contributing to the aims of the Victorian Road Safety Strategy 2021-30 to halve road deaths by 2030, on the path to zero road deaths by 2050, by increasing safety for those using the road for work or at work, including young apprentices,” Mr Crofts said.

Police say driver distraction is a major concern to the force and has played a huge part in recent road fatality statistics.

A spate of pedestrian deaths in recent months has emphasised how the danger of lapses in concentration while driving.

In June, eight pedestrians died on Victoria’s roads – the worst monthly pedestrian death toll since August 2015.

BRIANNA TRAVERS – Herald Sun

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