More than 700 injured on roads so far this year
There were 490 fewer road crash victims that needed hospital treatment up to the end of August this year compared to the same period last year, it was revealed yesterday.
But a road safety campaigner warned that the Covid-19 lockdown played a major reduction in crash injuries as traffic was cut to a minimum.
The Bermuda Hospitals Board said there were 724 road injury victims treated in the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital from January to August this year compared to 1,214 over the same period in 2019.
The BHB’s figures do not include road crash victims who did not go to hospital.
Figures were down this year in all categories – people treated in the Emergency Department; people admitted to the intensive care unit; those admitted to a general ward, cases under 18 years of age and those sent overseas for further treatment.
But injuries to tourists showed the biggest decline – eight this year up to August compared with 104 last year.
Shari-Lynn Pringle, the campaign manager for road safety group A Piece of the Rock, said that the statistics were promising but the Covid-19 pandemic limited the number of crashes.
Ms Pringle said: “Admissions to the acute care units were elevated at the beginning of the year and didn't really taper off except during shelter in place, but escalated quickly when restrictions were lifted.
But she added: “With only five road traffic fatalities this late in the year, there is a glimmer of hope that we may end in single digits.
“However, these statistics are most definitely aided by Covid restrictions: less traffic on the roads, fewer young riders with schools closed and so on.
“Road traffic crashes continue to happen at an alarming rate and many are not recorded because they do not result in a hospital stay.”
“We continue to encourage people to take whatever measures are necessary to make Bermuda roads safer.”
She added: “This sounds like great news. A decrease in statistics among any of the indicators is always promising.
But Ms Pringle said: “When you look at the statistics as a whole compared to 2019, there was consistent improvement as road traffic accident cases declined.
“There was a significant decrease in road traffic accidents among tourists, which is to be expected due to the lack of tourists on the island as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The figures to August meant an average of 90.5 people a month needed hospital treatment for roads injuries – the average last year was 152.
July topped the table in the first eight months of this year and last year with 133 people treated in hospital for crash injuries this year and 209 last year.
Two people needed intensive care treatment at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital in July and another 18 were admitted to general wards.
A total of eight people ended up in intensive care over the eight month period compared to 13 last year.
There were two people sent overseas for treatment between January and August this year and three last year.
A total of four children suffered injuries on crashes over the period, with two listed as aged 11 and 16.
There were 12 last year – one of whom was in intensive care.
The lowest number of roads injuries was recorded in April – at the height of the coronavirus lockdown.
Just 19 people were injured as a result of crashes that month and only three required inpatient treatment at the hospital.
August was the second worst month for roads injuries with 123 casualties logged.
A total of nine people required inpatient treatment, one of them in intensive care.