Jamaica Gleaner / Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton is reiterating calls for persons to take care on the roads as they travel across the country to visit with family and friends during the festive season.
Speaking with JIS News Tufton noted that statistics show that road traffic crashes are the 11th highest cause of premature deaths in Jamaica.
He says in addition to fatalities, it is estimated that more than 10,000 persons are injured annually in road traffic crashes.
The treatment of these injuries puts a strain on the healthcare sector and significantly impacts productivity, primarily among young people.
Road traffic injuries may also require long-term rehabilitation, while in more severe cases, persons may be unable to return to formal employment due to permanent damage such as amputation or severe brain injury.
Tufton says Jamaica has seen too many road traffic crashes, and this has significantly disrupted the lives of families, while putting the health sector under severe pressure.
He is imploring persons to practise good road-safety habits, such as driving at a moderate speed; starting their journey at a reasonable time to avoid having to rush; always using seat belts; ensuring that children are using proper safety gear; and getting a designated driver if you consume alcohol and other substances.