The psychology of crashing

Post Incident training

We all make mistakes. Fact. Sometimes we make mistakes whilst driving - all of us.

Sometimes the consequences of our mistakes can be very severe; for us or for others.

An accident can be a very lonely place.

On the face of it, dented metal can be fixed or thrown away. Damaged physical lives can be fixed. Or maybe not... Bent metal, bent bodies - damaged pride and wrecked joy. For so many people.

What of those who feel responsible? What of those who feel injured or are living with loss or those who cannot understand why their crash took place in the first place?

Who would you turn to if it you'd developed a phobia of driving in the rain?

If, as a result of being 'blinded by the light' you'd killed a pedestrian?

If you'd spun across a crowded M1 in dry conditions into the central crash barrier?

If your job as a locum doctor involved you driving to wherever you were needed across the country but you couldn't because you couldn't understand why you'd ended up on your roof on the junction of the M25/M1?

Who could support and explain?

The sad truth is: almost, absolutely no-one.

The effects of crashes can be profound and long-lasting. There again, sometimes even inspirational in terms of changing behaviours. But the sad truth is that there is ridiculously little support for crash victims (or the 'villains' of the piece) in terms of psychological and practical assistance.

The chap who asked me if he could tell me something. The something he wanted to talk about was how he'd 'managed' to kill his own son.

Or the chap who'd been on the phone to his son (who'd broken down on the motorway and had sensibly got over the crash barrier with his fiancée) when a lorry veered off the main carriageway, across the hard shoulder. The truck (driver) hit the broken down car, lifted it over the crash barrier and the result? The decapitation of the fiancée.

Not surprisingly, the son is not his former self. And the experience of the father hearing the events of the crash unfold over the phone has stayed with him.

Lots of nasty stuff can happen out there on the roads but if you or someone you know is struggling to come to terms with their accident, make contact

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