4WD crashes could be avoided
FIXING Fraser Island’s 4WD roll-over problem could be as easy as putting inner tubes in all hire vehicle’s tyres.
That’s the opinion of 90-year-old retired police sergeant Bill Cargill of Hervey Bay.
Mr Cargill’s credentials to make a judgement on road or beach accidents can’t be questioned after a distinguished police career of almost 40 years.
Over that time he investigated hundreds of accidents, many of which were fatalities.
“During one stint of seven years at Sarina I investigated 67 road deaths,” Mr Cargill said.
“I discovered that many accidents were caused by drivers losing total control of their vehicle after a blowout of a tyre not fitted with an inner-tube,” he said.
“Basically what happens here is when these tyres puncture the air goes out in an instant, while a puncture on an inner tube releases the air much slower.”
Applying this knowledge to roll-over accidents of 4WD vehicles on Fraser Island, Bill believes that when a driver hits a large rut on the beach the potential is that the tyre will puncture.
“As it has no inner tube the tyre will then slide off the rim, fill quickly with sand then become an anchor on one side of the vehicle,” he said.
“This will then pull the vehicle quickly to one side and unless the driver takes immediate action will result in a roll-over.”
The former police sergeant says that some people will no doubt argue against his analysis but the bottom-line is they can’t argue about adding an extra safety feature to hire vehicles if that just means placing inner tubes in tyres.
“For the sake of a few hundred dollars you can save lives.”