Remembering the victims and families left affected by the aftermath of road traffic incidents

The third Sunday of November each year is a day of remembrance, we pay our respects to those who lost their lives so tragically in road traffic collisions, and also the families that are left with the holes in their lives.

Road traffic incidents are such sudden, traumatic events that results in millions of injuries and deaths all over the world. Not only do these affect the people involved in the accidents but also the families that are affected by the aftermath.

I have personally experienced a loss through a road traffic collision when I lost my Dad in 2012. The accident was not his fault – it was down to a negligent driver who was convicted of death by dangerous driving shortly after.

My family are left trying to come to terms with what happened and three years later we are still faced with the same grief and distress. There is a lot of support out there for victims and you should never feel alone with your grief and suffering.

In an excellent piece of legislation, the Code of Practice for victims of crime came into effect in 2006 and has most recently been revised by the Government to provide further support.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, says: “We welcome the new Victims’ Code as a positive step in recognising the appalling suffering that bereaved road crash victims endure, and ensuring they can access appropriate support. In the terrible aftermath of a serious crash, it should not be left to reeling and traumatised families to seek out the help they need – yet this has been the reality for many. Specialist information, guidance and comfort should be offered, from the outset, to these families, so they feel cared for and are supported through their worst nightmares come true.”

“We know the support we provide to thousands of crash victims every year is hugely valued and critical in enabling them to cope with the appalling circumstances they find themselves in – including dealing with extreme emotions and often bewildering practical matters, such as navigating the criminal justice system. We hope this new Code will mean road crash victims are better able to access the specialist support they need.”

Government figures showed that the number of death increased 2.1 per cent to 1,807 in the year ending September 2014 – this level of increase is simply not acceptable, and more needs to be done to reduce them, but is there the political desire to get road crime and deaths under control? (article: Is there really no political desire to reduce road deaths?)

One of the charities supporting families like mine is Brake – they offer a support helpline for bereaved and injured victims left devastated by road crashes.  Brake campaign heavily – they work to prevent road death and injury, make our streets and communities safer, and supports the victims of road crashes. They provide emotional comfort, information on wide-ranging practical matters and criminal justice system procedures, advocacy, signposting and referral to further specialist support such as trauma counselling and local group support.

RoadPeace is another great national charity for road crash victims – they focus much more of their attention on getting the voices of the victims heard.  Roadpeace also work to reduce ‘road danger’ and to improve services, criminal and civil justice in order to greatly reduced number of road crash victims.

If you have been affected by a road traffic incident and need further support, you can contact Brake on 0808 8000 401 or RoadPeace on 0845 4500 355.

If you would like to donate to either of these great charities, then please visit http://www.brake.org.uk/donate or http://www.roadpeace.org/donate

Whilst on this day we remember those we have lost their lives or were seriously injured through a road traffic incidents and also their families who are left affected by it also spend time during the year thinking about these innocent victims of crimes, and think about what you can do to support them, also the dedicated emergency crews, the police and also medical professions, who deal with road traffic incidents on a daily basis.

In remembrance of Graham Whitwam

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