August 29, 2017
August is officially National Road Victim Month thanks to RoadPeace, a national charity dedicated to raising awareness and supporting victims of road accidents.
Sadly, most people will have a friend or relative who has been injured in a traffic accident or will know of someone who has. National Road Victim month essentially aims to raise much needed awareness as well as serving as a time for us to remember anyone affected by a road accident.
National Road Victim Month was first established by RoadPeace (the National Charity for Road Crash Victims) in 1998 with the aim to support road incident victims and to promote road peace. Since the 1st January 2017, RoadPeace have recorded over 800,000 global road deaths, in addition to 5 people dying every day on our roads in the UK. These figures are increasing daily and the need for awareness and public understanding for road safety is crucial.
The Importance of August
There are several reasons why August is such a poignant month for road victims including that on 31st August 1869, Mary Ward, the first known person to be killed by a motor vehicle, fell under the wheels of a steam car and on the same day in 1997; Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a car crash. The month of August is therefore marked with events and tributes to remember all those who have been killed on the roads; including a public ceremony at RoadPeace Wood in Staffordshire and an annual ceremony on 31st August in Liverpool.
Being a summer month and traditionally part of the school holidays, there is also an increased risk of injury to children whilst on holiday and away from school. Equally, more and more families are opting to holiday in the UK during the summer months, resulting in far more cars on the motorways.
RoadPeace works hard to raise awareness and to challenge certain misconceptions including:
• Crashes are still seen as unfortunate 'accidents', instead of preventable collisions
• Society tolerates road death and disability as an acceptable price to pay for increased motorisation and convenience
• Crash victims do not have the same rights or support as other victims of crime or trauma.
The team, here at Spencers Solicitors, wholeheartedly support RoadPeace in raising awareness levels.
One frustrating misconception is that seemingly minor incidents or low speed collisions cannot result in loss or injury. This simply isn’t the case and even in circumstances where the level of damage on the car is minor, it doesn’t mean that the injury isn’t serious. Minor incidents, such as low-speed collisions with a stationary vehicle, can cause injuries as serious as a high-speed collision. This can result in severe physical and psychological trauma affecting everyday life and relationships; vast amounts of medical treatment and the client losing their job and falling into financial difficulties.
RoadPeace operates a valuable national helpline (0845 4500 355) to support anyone affected by bereavement or injury following a road collision and further information can be accessed here: http://www.road-peace.org.uk/.
About the Author
Kathleen Kilgarriff is a Paralegal within our Serious Injury Team.
Kathleen is an undergraduate Law student from Nottingham Trent University who joined the business in June for her placement year. With her career aspiration to become a Serious Injury Solicitor, Kathleen has joined the team to gain first-hand experience to enhance her knowledge and career prospects by providing support and assistance with the Serious Injury Team. Kathleen also assists in producing instructive blogs for the website about important events , in addition to providing support in the Employment Law Team.