‘Phones causing accidents’

2011-04-12 00:00

IT has been another bloody weekend on the roads, with 40 people receiving medical attention for mostly serious and many critical injuries in accidents in and around Durban at the weekend.

Automobile Association spokesperson Gary Ronald said the high number of accidents is worrying, especially since it is a mere 10 days away from the Easter long weekend when accident statistics usually increase dramatically.

Among the critically injured is a pregnant woman who was involved in a rear-end accident at the intersection of Beltex and Wilcox roads in Prospecton outside Durban, which also left three people hurt, two of them seriously.

Netcare 911 paramedics arrived at the scene to find two women from the front vehicle with serious injuries. The driver of the vehicle in the back sustained minor injuries.

Meanwhile, two children and two adults were injured, two seriously, in a head-on collision on the M4 in Umhlanga. A family from Cape Town were driving along the M4 when they collided head-on with an Isuzu bakkie. When paramedics arrived at the scene they found the crumpled remains of the car and bakkie obstructing the roadway.

The family were travelling in a Golf 5. The children, aged 16 and eight, were injured, one of them seriously.

Two adults were travelling in the bakkie. The driver sustained serious injuries, while his passenger escaped with minor injuries.

In another serious head-on collision on the M4, a husband and wife are fighting for their lives in an Umhlanga hospital after an accident near Sibaya yesterday morning.

Reports indicate that the vehicle was travelling north on the M4 and smashed head-on into a truck.

When the Netcare 911 paramedics arrived at the scene they found the twisted remains of the vehicle wedged against the truck, the two occupants critically injured and still trapped in the wreckage.

Firemen worked for more than two hours to free the injured and medics had to clamber into the twisted frame to stabilise the patients.

They were placed on ventilators and immobilised on trauma boards.

Accidents involving taxis also featured prominently at the weekend, when 16 commuters were injured, five seriously, after three taxis collided at the intersection of Grey and Leopold roads in Durban.

The cause of the accident will remain a subject for police comment and investigation.

Eight people were injured, one critically, when another taxi and a car collided on the M4 North just before the Victoria Embankment. Exact details of the cause of the accidents remain sketchy and will form part of the police investigation.

The AA’s Ronald emphasised that using seatbelts is non-negotiable, and that cellphones should not be used while driving.

“We find that often a driver takes his or her eyes off the road for a second and that’s all it takes.

“With the new Blackberry messaging and other social networking sites available on cellphones, we find that drivers are more distracted.

“Driving needs your undivided and sober attention,” Ronald warned.

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