Road Trauma Support WA counsellor Gary Hurst spoke with The West Australian’s Rourke Walsh recently about WA’s ‘hidden road toll’ which has cost the State an estimated $2.8 billion over the past five years according to figures released by the Road Safety Commission last month.
The cost is based on 7906 serious-injury crashes recorded on WA roads between 2012 and last year with the average cost of a single crash causing hospital admissions costing upwards of $350,000.
The article highlighted the case of young West Australian man, Cory Payne, who was just 17 when he was seriously injured in a road crash in 2014.
Mr Payne, now 20, spent 16 days in an induced coma in Royal Perth Hospital and more than a year at Shenton Park Hospital enduring months of gruelling rehabiliation and was left with stroke-like symptoms and a slight paralysis on the right side of his body.
Mr Hurst said each crash was potentially a life changing event for those directly involved and those around them.
“Certainly physically, but also emotionally and socially, particularly those who receive quite critical or catastrophic injuries,” Mr Hurst said.
“The costs are enormous especially when you look at things we don’t consider such as if someone was injured in a crash, what was the benefit they were going to bring to the community that us no longer there and the skills they are no longer able to contribute.”
Visit Mr Payne’s Facebook Page to learn more about his story.