Today is the last day of Queensland Road Safety Week, which takes place from 16-20 August 2021. Despite the initiative coming to an end, we all still need to do our bit to contribute to making our roads safer for all road users, explains Attwood Marshall Lawyers Compensation Law Partner and QLD Law Society Accredited Specialist, Jeremy Roche.
Latest Australian Road Toll
Sadly, despite improved infrastructure and consistent messaging around road safety, the number of people seriously injured or killed on Australian roads remains devastatingly high.
During the month of July 2021, there was a total of 102 road deaths in Australia. This number is 1.6 per cent higher than the average for July over the past 5 years.
Queensland alone has seen a 21.8% rise in road deaths for the 12-month period ending June 2021, when compared to the previous 12-month period ending July 2020.
Bad behaviour continues to cause road injuries and fatalities:
- In 2019, there were 10,836 infringements issued to people using mobile phones whilst driving.
- In 2019, 16,481 people returned a positive roadside breath test in Queensland
- In 2019, 6,685 people returned a positive roadside drug test in Queensland
What changes have come into effect to improve road safety?
Seatbelt and mobile phone detection cameras are now in use throughout Queensland. These devices have been introduced by the Queensland Government to detect drivers using mobile phones illegally and failing to wear a seatbelt.
Failing to wear a seatbelt and using mobile phones whilst driving are two of the main contributing factors to people losing their lives or being seriously injured in accidents on Queensland roads every year.
The government has strengthened road safety laws related to the use of mobile phones to crack down on this behaviour. Now, a driver must not have a mobile phone touching any part of their body, including in their hands, while driving. You can be even fined for having your phone in your lap!
There is a warning period where people who are snapped on the new portable cameras will be issued a warning notice encouraging them to change their risky behaviour. However, from 1st November 2021, new penalties will be imposed including:
- $1,033 fine and the loss of 4 demerit points for illegal mobile phone use
- $413 fine and the loss of 3 demerit points for failing to wear a seatbelt. If you are a driver of a vehicle and you have a passenger who also fails to wear their seatbelt, the driver will be fined $413 and lose 3 demerit points for every passenger not properly restrained in their vehicle.
- The loss of double demerit points for repeat mobile phone and seatbelt offences committed within a 12-month period.
An accident can happen in a split second and change life as you know it
Attwood Marshall Lawyers have seen an increase in motor vehicle accident claims this year. With fewer people on the roads last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, there were significantly less accidents. However, with people returning to work and more movement on our roads over the past 6-9 months, there has been a significant increase in the number of accidents on our roads.
Attwood Marshall Lawyers client, Gold Coast chef Nathan Schubert, experienced firsthand earlier this year how a road accident can ruin your life in a split second.
Riding his motorbike on a clear sunny day through Springbrook on 2 March 2021, Mr Schubert was caught by surprise when a driver of a Mazda sedan swerved out of his lane and on to the wrong side of the road, coming in contact with Mr Schubert head on.
Mr Schubert was thrown from his motorbike down an embankment. He was pinned against a tree and landed right next to a brown snake. Injured and isolated, Mr Schubert had to wait 30 minutes before paramedics arrived to rush him to hospital.
Mr Schubert suffered significant injuries to his wrist, knee, PCL, ACL, LCL, and MCL, bruising to his lungs, as well as psychological injuries including PTSD, depression, and anxiety. He continues to receive ongoing treatment to help him on his road to recovery including treatment by physiotherapists, pain management doctors, and psychologists.
Mr Schubert has been unable to return to work whilst he focusses on his rehabilitation. Despite the ordeal he has had to injure as a result of someone else’s negligence, he considers himself lucky to be alive.
“One of my good friends, he just crashed into a car and is now a quadriplegic. I have friends who have crashed and had loved ones die in their arms. So to be walking and moving and alive … I’m quite fortunate,” explained Mr Schubert to the Gold Coast Bulletin.
It is reported that motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to be killed in a crash than passengers in cars, and 19 per cent of road deaths in Australia are a result of a motorcycle accident.
Attwood Marshall Lawyers – helping you receive the treatment you need after suffering an injury in a motor vehicle accident
No matter what type of vehicle you may be driving, or if you are the driver, passenger, or pedestrian, if you suffer an injury in a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else, you can claim compensation. By doing so, it can help you with your recovery and provide you with the financial security you need as you focus on your health and wellbeing. Our experienced compensation lawyers can guide you through the entire process of making a compensation claim.
It is important to get advice from a compensation lawyer at the earliest possible opportunity if you have sustained an injury in a motor vehicle accident to get your claim underway. In many cases, people suffer shock immediately after a motor vehicle accident and underestimate the injuries they have sustained, including the psychological impact the accident can have on them immediately following the event, and in the future.
We offer a “No Win, No Fee” guarantee for all motor vehicle accident claims so that you don’t have to worry about any upfront costs, and you can get advice immediately.
We also have a 24/7 phone line you can reach us on by phoning 1800 621 071 or you can book an appointment online with one of our Compensation Lawyers for a free, no-obligation initial appointment.