Several sections of Queensland’s major arterial route, the Bruce Highway, continue to be dangerous to motorists despite some upgrades, says leading law firm Slater and Gordon.
Slater and Gordon lawyer Amy Marr said the firm’s offices on the Sunshine Coast, Wide Bay, Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns had fielded a number of enquiries from Bruce Highway accident victims.
Ms Marr said in two recent incidents motorists were involved in crashes with trucks on the Bruce Highway.
The 1700km highway from Brisbane to Cairns in 2013 accounted for approximately 17 per cent of deaths on the entire national road network, while between 2008 and 2011 there were 170 deaths and 1620 hospitalisations from crashes on the Bruce Highway.
“Federal and state government initiatives have led to parts of the highway upgraded but it’s still a dangerous road,” Ms Marr said.
“As we head into the Easter holiday period, we urge motorists using the Bruce Highway to take particular care as unfortunately this major road route accounts for one in six of the nation’s road fatalities.”
Ms Marr said Slater and Gordon clients had been involved in some terrifying accidents on the Bruce Highway.
“One of our clients who operates a small business was overtaking a semitrailer on the Bruce Highway near Ingham in North Queensland and when he drew level with the vehicle it veered into his lane, forcing him off the road and he crashed down a culvert and into trees,” she said.
“The man sustained a badly broken leg and a fractured vertebrae and he has been unable to fully return to his normal work.”
Ms Marr said in another case at Point Curtis near Rockhampton in central Queensland a refrigeration mechanic was lucky to survive after his vehicle was flattened by an out of control prime mover.
“The prime mover was coming from the opposite direction and smashed into a few vehicles in front of our client’s stationary vehicle before coming to rest on top of his car,” she said.
“Luckily, our client saw the large vehicle coming and did some pretty quick thinking and put his seat down, so he was actually lying down when the prime mover crashed on top of his vehicle.
“Unfortunately, he has serious back and neck injuries and the accident has also had a substantial psychological impact on our client.
“The Easter period is a notoriously dangerous time to be on the roads.
“If you’re travelling the Bruce Highway over this period be conscious of your speed, take regular breaks and be patient.
“It’s not worth risking your life or the lives of others.”