The P.A.R.T.Y. (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth) program brings high-school students into the hospital to see trauma patients first-hand.
According to AAMI research, 54 percent young drivers in NSW admit to exceeding the speed limit by 10km/h or more "some of the time"; while 13 percent admit to exceeding the speed limit "at least half the time".
More than half admitted to sending or reading text messages while driving and 31 percent had used a phone or tablet to read emails while on the move. An alarming 90 percent said they had updated their Facebook status while driving.
And it’s not just mobile phones and speeding that are concerning the insurer: 10 percent of young drivers admit to having driven with too many passengers in the car while 11 percent admitted to ‘making out’ while driving.
Head of Trauma at RNSH, Dr Tony Joseph, said the students will spend time with staff from the emergency, intensive care, burns, spinal, neurosurgical and rehabilitation wards who deal with the impact of trauma on young lives.
“By exposing them to the traumatic consequences of risk-related behaviour, we hope to change their perceptions and have a positive impact on the choices they make in the future,” Dr Joseph said.
AAMI says that in 2012, 15 percent of young people aged 15 to 25 who presented to NSW hospitals were there as a result of severe trauma injuries.
In the past five years, 1638 young people in the same age-group died as a result of road trauma without ever making it to hospital.
It is hoped the PARTY program will reduce road trauma among young drivers.
Of students who participated in a similar program at Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital, 70 percent said that the program had a positive impact on them.