Motorbike delivery drivers' accident cases soar
March 30 2022 11:40 PM
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Dr Aisha Abeid, left, and Dr Rafael Consunji
Dr Aisha Abeid, left, and Dr Rafael Consunji

* HTC and Traffic Awareness Dept to collaborate on action plan to reduce incidence of injuries
 
 
The Hamad Trauma Centre (HTC) treated more than triple the number of motorcycle delivery drivers (MDDs) with serious injuries due to road accidents in the first quarter of 2022, compared to the same period in 2021.
The centre provided care to 93 cases with serious injuries in the first quarter of 2022 compared to 29 cases during the same period in 2021, HMC said in a statement yesterday.
The Trauma Anaesthesia Section also observed a significant increase in the number of operations to address brain injuries, fractures and even amputations.
In light of these unprecedented statistics on MDD injuries, the Hamad Injury Prevention Programme (HIPP) of the HTC has issued a renewed call to the public to remind them that the safety of MDDs is the collective responsibility of all road users in Qatar.
“The HIPP is committed to preventing unnecessary injuries from affecting all members of the public in Qatar. With the phased lifting of Covid restrictions, we are providing proven safety recommendations to better protect everyone as we emerge from lockdown,” said Dr Rafael Consunji, director of the HIPP, the community outreach arm of the HTC.
Dr Aisha Abeid, assistant director of HIPP, said: “There has been a steady increase in the number of MDDs who suffered moderate to severe injuries since 2019. However, since the start of this year, we have seen more than three times the number of serious MDD injuries when compared to 2021. If we allow this trend to continue, then we will see a huge increase when compared to pre-Covid statistics, this means more than 360 MDDs will suffer serious injuries this year.
"We must remember that MDDs are one of the most vulnerable road users, they are not protected by a vehicle’s shell, and we must pay full attention while sharing the road with them. We must realise that MDDs will continue their delivery activities within a busier environment, with more road users, as we settle into our new post-restriction road environment.”
Birgadier-General Dr Mohamed Radhi al-Hajri, director of the Traffic Awareness Department, said: “We continue to work closely with our partners at the Hamad Trauma Centre to raise awareness among the public about road safety and improve the safety of all road users in Qatar. Plans and strategies are currently being developed to protect the safety of the most vulnerable road users, including motorcyclists and pedestrians, especially with the increase in the number of crashes that lead to severe injuries among these road users.”
"Our safety recommendations, for all drivers, focus on eight main areas for the MDDs and all others who share the road with them. The eight areas are: Distractions, Sharing the road, Impairment, Blind spots, Directions, Stress, PPE and Safer vehicles," he added.
1. Distracted drivers are the number one cause of motor vehicle crashes in Qatar. Put all mobile devices away or assign a passenger to make calls or check directions for you whenever you drive, there should be no exceptions. There is no safe way to text, call or surf online while driving, cycling or walking, don’t do it.
2. Share the road responsibly and safely, do not crowd out or race with MDDs. Most delivery motorcycles are relatively slower and underpowered so it will be best to pass them safely, on their left side, and not share a lane with them.
3. Impaired drivers are dangerous to everyone who uses the road, especially MDDs. We should not allow our friends, family and colleagues to drive while they are impaired. The most common causes of impairment are being too tired or sleepy and being under the influence of medications, drugs or alcohol. Medical conditions, like epilepsy or strokes, can also lead to impairment. There are numerous safer alternatives to driving while impaired, like taxis or designated drivers. Use them instead of putting yourself and the public at risk.
4. Be aware that a MDD could be in your vehicle’s blind spot so make sure to check your blind spot before you indicate your intention to change lanes or turn, by using your indicator light.
5. Provide the MDD with clear directions to your location, to minimise sudden direction changes or consultation with maps. Make sure the drop-off point is a location that is away from other vehicles, safe for the MDD to park, clearly lit and easy to access.
6. Avoid making unnecessary and repeated demands for a quick and speedy delivery. A stressed MDD is more likely to get lost, not find your location and get into a crash. Don’t turn your routine food delivery into an urgent ER visit for the MDD.
7. For the MDDs, their employers and colleagues: make sure that you use your complete PPE, i.e. helmet, gloves, shoes, full body high visibility suit and goggles, on every trip you make. Motorcycles are safest when they are seen, you must only operate your vehicles with your headlights on, even in the daytime.
8. Some companies have begun to convert all of their delivery vehicles to cars, in order to better protect their drivers. It is encouraged that more companies follow their example.
"HIPP assures the public that we will continue to monitor the safety of all residents in Qatar, through the Qatar National Trauma Registry, and make the necessary recommendations to educate them on the best safety practices," the statement notes.
“In alignment with these efforts, we want to assure the public that the dedicated team of doctors and nurses of the Hamad Trauma Centre are ready and prepared to provide 24/7 world-class trauma care for all residents of Qatar who are victims of trauma. However, injury prevention is a far more effective strategy,” said Dr Sandro Rizoli, medical director of HTC.
Dr Kaled Sa Elnagar, chief of HMC Trauma Anesthesia, emphasised: “For every precaution the public takes to prevent more MDDs from being unnecessarily injured, we are able to better focus our manpower, resources and efforts on operations for other conditions like heart attacks, strokes, cancer or sepsis.”
 
 



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