Plan not to be an Australia Day rescue statistic

AS QUEENSLANDERS fill up their eskies in anticipation for Australia Day, RACQ and the state's largest community helicopter rescue service are urging motorists to plan their travel arrangements to avoid drink driving.

RACQ CareFlight CEO Ashley van de Velde said that at least one in 10 missions carried out by their crews was to treat and airlift patients involved in serious road crashes.

"They are some of the most medically and personally challenging missions that CareFlight flies," Mr van de Velde said.

"The impact of some of these crashes can be so great that wreckage is strewn 100 metres down the road.

"If we don't have to start our CareFlight helicopters once over the Australia Day weekend I'll be happy."

RACQ senior road safety advisor Joel Tucker said alcohol was a contributing factor in, on average, one quarter of the road fatalities in Queensland each year.

"That's an average of around 70 people per year who could still be alive today had drivers or riders left their vehicle at home," Mr Tucker said.

"If you're planning to drink at Australia Day celebrations this weekend, sort out your travel arrangements to ensure you can get home safely, without driving.  It's always safer to leave your car at home.

"Drinking and driving is never a good mix - especially on big days like Australia Day."

Topics:  alcohol australia day drink driving racq racq careflight rescue helicopter

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