ER nurse sees gruesome consequences of impaired driving
Impaired drivers police focus for May
May 1, 2015
A bad decision can lead to devastating results, and nurse Sarah Poole sees the consequences coming through the emergency room door too often.
“I’ve seen patients with limbs missing, limbs being brought in on ice to be reattached, people being rushed to the OR, and people needing massive blood transfusions,” said Poole, a 10-year emergency room nurse at the Regina General Hospital. “People think they’re invincible. They never think it’s going to happen to them, until it happens to them and then it’s horrific.”
“People don’t realize that one bad choice to drive drunk or high can damage so much. It really is that simple.”
Police across the province will be on the lookout for impaired drivers during May’s traffic safety spotlight on impaired driving.
The consequences of impaired driving are certainly sobering - 40 people were killed and 606 were injured in alcohol and drug-related collisions in Saskatchewan in 2013. Tougher penalties effective June 27, 2014 mean impaired drivers face longer licence suspensions, immediate roadside vehicle seizures, and user-pay mandatory ignition interlock in some cases. Drug-impaired drivers face the same consequences as those impaired by alcohol.
A lot of the close calls Poole has witnessed have involved impaired driving crashes where the only person injured was the impaired driver themselves.
“I want to tell them ‘You could have killed someone. You are a selfish person right now. You need to hold that in your heart, for the rest of your life, that you had a guardian angel protecting other people from your bad choice today,” said Poole.
Next time, they might not be so lucky. “If something happens, you’ll be living with that regret forever - it’s something that will never go away,“ said Poole.
SGI reminds drivers to always plan a safe ride home. Choose a designated driver in advance, take a taxi, use a safe ride service, take the bus or call a friend or family member to pick you. SGI even has a free Safe Ride app to help you keep track of these different options. And if you see a driver you suspect is impaired, pull over and call 911 to report them to police through the Report Impaired Drivers (RID) program.
Visit the Traffic safety changes page to learn more about the new traffic laws, the consequences of impaired driving, or get more information about the Road Safety Challenge and how #wecandrivebetter.
Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) is the province's self-sustaining auto insurance fund. SGI operates 21 claims centres and five salvage centres across Saskatchewan with a head office in Regina. SGI also works with a network of nearly 400 motor licence issuers across the province. Customers can now do some transactions online. Look for the MySGI link under Online Services on your motor licence issuer's website or SGI's website.