Real-life stories to shock school students
NSW high school students will hear confronting real-life stories from former hospital patients, who have survived a car crash but have been left with life-long spinal or brain injuries, as part of a three-day road safety education program.
Now in its 11th year, bstreetsmart aims to shock Year 10 to 12 students, preparing to get behind the wheel, to be responsible when driving or as a passenger in a motor vehicle.
One of the stories the students will hear comes from motorbike crash survivor Heidi Haydon. The 29-year-old knows first-hand the outcomes of drivers not paying attention on the road, after she was t-boned by a careless driver in December 2009.
Heidi was left a paraplegic and is in a wheelchair – she will never walk again.
“The roads are unpredictable – you never know what may happen next,” Heidi said.
“I feel strongly about the bstreetsmart forum providing education in road safety.
“This opportunity for new drivers is one of a kind; not only do they get to experience what happens in a real-life car crash scenario but they also get to hear from people who have survived a car crash and how their lives have changed.
“The aftermath of a car crash can take years of recovery and changes many lives – not just the person involved but doctors, nurses and emergency services crew.”
bstreetsmart co-founder and Westmead Hospital trauma nurse Stephanie Wilson said she hoped the young survivors’ stories would drive home the message that crashes can happen and people are not invincible.
“Some young drivers think it will never happen to them but it does – we see it every day,” she said.
“The nurses and doctors at Westmead Hospital constantly deal with young people, who have been involved in car crashes, and we see the effect it has on their lives, their families, friends and the community.
“Almost every weekend, there are reports of car crashes involving young people across NSW.
“If we can save just one life or make a difference to how someone behaves when they are behind a vehicle or as a passenger or pedestrian, then we have done our job.”
For more information about the bstreetsmart program, visit the bstreetsmart website.