In the development of the car insurance blog we strive to assist car owners and road users with advice and recommendations on both insurance and safety on the road. One of the most important requirements in doing so is to listen to the needs of our online visitors. One of our visitors came to the car insurance blog by using the key phrase on a search engine “I need advice, I lost my son in an accident, how do I cope?“
This raises a very important aspect of road safety. We do not only have to focus on accident prevention and accident investigation, but also on the response to accidents and the treatment of accident victims.
Motor vehicle accidents are considered the leading cause of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the general population and car accidents are the number one trauma for men and the second most frequent trauma for women. We often neglect to attend to the trauma suffered by the victims on the roads and need a better understanding of this trauma. On the Arrive Alive website we find the following description:
“What is emotional or psychological trauma?
Psychological trauma is a type of damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a traumatic event. When that trauma leads to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, damage can be measured in physical changes inside the brain and to brain chemistry, which affect the person’s ability to cope with stress. A traumatic event involves a single experience, or an enduring or repeating event or events that completely overwhelm the individual’s ability to cope or integrate the ideas and emotions involved with that experience. The sense of being overwhelmed can be delayed by weeks or years, as the person struggles to cope with the immediate However, different people will react differently to similar events. One person may perceive an event to be traumatic that another may not, and not all people who experience a traumatic event will become psychologically traumatized.
Regardless of its source, an emotional trauma contains three common elements:
- it was unexpected
- the person was unprepared
- there was nothing the person could do to prevent it from happening
It is not the event that determines whether something is traumatic to someone, but the individual’s experience of the event. And it is not predictable how a given person will react to a particular event. For someone who is used to being in control of emotions and events, it may be surprising – even embarrassing – to discover that something like an accident or job loss can be so debilitating.”
Family and friends can provide a strong emotional base for support – but sometimes it would still be best to consult with an expert in trauma counselling and psychology!
We would like to urge all road users to find more information on “Trauma Counselling and Road Safety”.