“National Accident Prevention day takes place on Friday the 13th every year.
This year the campaign week is from 8th until 13th of August. The theme for this year’s campaign is drugs and alcohol and their connection to accidents. The aim is to get people to think how drug and alcohol use increases the chances for accidents, and how accidents can be prevented by one’s own behavior. When alcohol plays a part, can unfortunate prophecies come true.
Since 1993, Finnish authorities and NGOs have worked together on accident prevention. One form of cooperation has been trying to influence people’s attitudes through the Accident Prevention Day campaign, organised for the 26th time this year. On Accident Prevention Day, always a Friday the 13th, people are encouraged to think about how they can lessen risks and prevent accidents at work, at home and in traffic. This year the Accident Prevention Day campaign runs throughout Monday–Friday, 9–13 August.“
Find more from www.tapaturmapäivä.fi (Finland, August 2021)
“Intoxicants are often a contributing factor to accidents involving electric scooters. Particularly at night, crashes and falls frequently happen at excessive speeds when a rider’s reaction time is impaired by alcohol and/or drugs. Bruising to the brain is a common injury and often requires a long period of recovery. This year, the Accident Prevention Day campaign will be held throughout 9–13 August 2021, and will focus on the connection between intoxication and accidents.
Patients arriving at the Emergency Department of Helsinki University Hospital (HUS) are often intoxicated. Arja Kobylin, chief physician at HUS Emergency Medicine and Services, reports that the number of people who are drunk tends to increase as a night progresses.
”It’s surprising how often there is alcohol in the blood of people injured in scooter accidents. Intoxication is more common in motorised scooter accidents than in bike accidents”, says Kobylin.
HUS Emergency Medicine and Services treat people injured in electric scooter accidents more frequently than they do those from bike accidents.
Since mid-July, the night-time speed limits for electric scooters have been lowered in town centres. The restrictions are in use only in some parts of the country, e.g. Helsinki. This experiment is to remain in place until at least the end of August. The speed limits aim to prevent accidents at night.
”By limiting the speeds of electric scooters, we hope to see fewer serious injuries, but that alone is not enough. Since the reduced speed limits, accident numbers have gone down a bit compared to earlier in the summer, but the figures are still dismal, particularly on weekend nights”, says Kobylin.
Drinking and traffic don’t mix
Even a small amount of alcohol can make negotiating traffic risky, regardless of one’s mode of transport. Alcohol and/or drugs impact on a driver or rider’s ability to judge speed and distance, and much else. Cycling or propelling a non-motorised vehicle while under the influence is a crime in Finland. Anyone who is drunk while riding a non-motorised vehicle in a manner that endangers other people can be fined or even imprisoned.
As Finnish Road Safety Council planner Tomi Niemi points out, ”If you drink, you don’t drive! That’s always a good rule wherever there’s traffic. An electric scooter is not a toy, it’s a vehicle, as is a bike. It’s a good idea to think beforehand about how you are going to get around on a summer’s night, so that an impulsive decision doesn’t put yourself or others in danger.”
Read further from HERE