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National Road Victim Month

National Road Victim Month


August is designated as National Road Victim Month by charity RoadPeace to give public recognition to the terrible toll of road death; motoring journalist, John Swift, takes a very personal look at the lifelong devastation caused by the loss of a loved one.

How do you cope with the loss of a loved one in a crash?

RoadPeace is the National Charity for Road Crash Victims which focuses on the devastating, lifelong impact of road crashes.

The charity chose August as National Road Victim Month following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, who was killed in a car crash on 31 August 1997.

The charity also campaigns for the use of the word ‘crash’ not ‘accident’, believing that the word ‘accident’ fails to convey the true horror that bad driving can cause. Here, Motoring Journalist John Swift, takes very personal take on the devastation of losing a loved one.

Roadside tribute to driver in fatal accident

Like you I read the annual statistics for people killed on the road and wonder what personal misery and tragedy lies behind the official figures; what strikes me is that what matters is not the 1,792 people who died in a crash (from 2016), but the one, the one you know, the one you care for, the one that is yours.

Tragedy hits hardest when it hits at the personal level, not the general.

It also hits especially hard when it comes out of the blue; one of the worst aspects of road deaths and injury is that it is so unexpected. We none of us think it will happen to us, we don’t leave the house in the morning thinking that by home time someone we love will be dead or their body broken.

One of the cruellest and most shocking parts of these awful events is that there is no time for anyone to say goodbye, I love you, or even to say sorry.

I know that feeling; I’ve been there, though not through a road crash. Our son died suddenly when he was only a few months old and the worst moment of my life was the night prior to his funeral when I tucked his favourite teddy bear down by his little body before the undertakers shut the lid of the tiny coffin and with it my final view of him.

No chance to give him a last cuddle, no opportunity to say how much he was loved. That was years ago, but the memory of that image and that moment still brings tears and the scar tissue covering the emotional wound is very thin and easily dislodged.

I would never want anyone to suffer the long term consequences and devastation caused by the sudden loss of a loved one, which must be even more unbearable if you feel it could have been avoided.

In truth there isn’t much anyone can say, or do, to take away that pain, but there is support out there for anyone affected by these terrible events and this month, August, helps raise awareness of it and signpost the way to it.

Black and white image of a sad woman

August is National Road Victim Month; RoadPeace is raising awareness about the terrible after effects of a crash and also reaching out to support those who may desperately need help and support.

This can take the form of emotional support and god knows, anyone who has seen the devastating effect that sudden and violent death can have on a family would understand the need for that.

It can be practical help too, guiding families through what can be a bewildering and frightening legal maze.

For anyone with no connection, a KSI (killed or serious injury) road crash makes a headline and then we move on with our own busy lives. For those who do have some connection their world stops…and they may need help and support, a shoulder to cry on and a lot of time, before it starts again.

It is for these people that National Road Victim Month is aimed. There are organisations with very good, kind and sincere staff, out there who know what it is like to be plunged into that terrible space and who want you to reach out and help.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. You don’t have to suffer alone.”

Help and support and further information we recommend the following websites:


Brake.org.uk Victim Support