The effect of a death or life-changing injury in a road crash can be compared to a pebble landing in water. The ripples spread out far, affecting many people.
Road crashes are violent, sudden, and often end and devastate lives far too prematurely. Road crash victims are often young, devastating parents and siblings. Road crash victims are also parents, leaving children without carers.
The traumatic grief suffered by people bereaved by road crashes can be overwhelming and, in some instances, lead to long-term, negative outcomes, for example conditions such as serious depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
As well as traumatic grief, a death on the road can cause serious financial hardship because someone who earns money for the family has died. The death can irrevocably alter a family's future in many ways.
Emergency and hospital treatment of road crash victims saves many lives in many countries. However, in some countries, there is inadequate access to emergency services to reach seriously injured victims quickly or even at all, and inadequate medical care, reducing chances of survival.
Advice for bereaved victims
Brake publishes a guide to help people bereaved in road crashes. This guide has been prepared with help from professionals specialising in supporting people bereaved by traumatic grief, and has been used by thousands of people. Read Coping with Grief >
Advice for professionals
Brake's project 'Sudden' aims to help professionals to provide best practice emotional and practical support to people bereaved by sudden death, including on roads. Go to Sudden.