Burning Question – Road Safety, Road Accidents, Fatalities, Casualties and Trauma

One more victim on our roads and again a whole family destroyed in seconds!

The brake failure story is an absolutely old unconvincing argument. A human being is dead, that’s the heart-breaking story and point! The victim’s family is destroyed and nothing on earth can ever compensate such a huge loss! Campaigns for road safety continues and still the road kills!

The year has just started and so many persons have already been victims of road accidents. Between January to February around 10 persons have lost lives, leaving their family members, relatives, friends and dear ones traumatised.

The violent road accident that occurred on the 12/2/2023 at Poudre-D’Or-Hamlet has shocked the whole population by its gravity, violence and absurdity! A bus runs straight into a car coming in the opposite direction. The car driver is torn to death and is dead! Passengers are badly injured. The CCTV footage, in public circulation, depicts the violence of the tragic accident. The video uncandidly shows that the bus was being driven on the right, in the lane of the car which was dragged in the reverse for several metres by the infuriated mad bus. Surely there will be an inquiry in the matter and the insurance companies will start a red tape administrative, legal and judicial process.

Now, what next? The bus driver will face the “law” or the “justice”; the bus owner may well remain silent or deny responsibility; the media will soon make a new headline out of some other new “sensation” which will become another “Breaking News”; and but, the victims of the accident will start a race against the insurance companies / bus company. Some insensitive irresponsible internet users will, in the meantime, continue to post some of their new “live snaps” on social media and accumulate likes and smileys!

But the true drama will unfold, undoubtedly, for the victims on the brutal face of the reality, a life encroached by and hooked up with law, justice, administration and stigmatisation. Victims of road accidents usually open up to new avenues as patients of mental health, whilst they live a silent incomprehensible confused life full of trauma.

Accidents, usually road accidents, often also leave mental health patients behind. The medical conditions that victims may include, inter alia (i) Traumatic Brain Injury, (ii) Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), (iii) Mental Distress, (iv) Emotional Distress, and (v) Adjustment disorder. TBI: This is a condition where the normal functioning of the human brain is disrupted. Unfortunately tests such as MRI and CT Scan do not reveal TBI.

Road accident victims experience deep changes in their emotional functioning, particularly due to shock in the frontal lobe. PTSD: There is established facts that more than 30-35% of victims of road accidents suffer from PTSD. This condition make the victims (including survivors) suffer from intense fear and helplessness. At times even the vision of accidents on tv or pictures may cause serious distress in the aftermath of road accidents.

Emotional distress and mental distress are usually under estimated. Victims often experience psychological and/or psychiatric injuries which haunts them for life. The tragedy is that both emotional and mental distress goes undiagnosed, un-noticed and, therefore untreated. Another severe condition si adjustment disorder which is a condition where road accident victims suffer extreme stress and anxiety as they try to adjust to their injuries, treatment and impairments.

Well. Question. My question is how shall we, as responsible citizens of this country, address this serious problem of road accidents? We cannot be passive onlookers! How can we eliminate deaths on roads, casualties and trauma? Can we find a permanent solution and stop the haemorrhage? Not minimising physical injuries and/or mild or permanent disability; usually, in many cases, road accidents provoke the sudden and brutal death of victims leaving too many casualties behind!

Often, also, death may follow after a while, but the latter victims usually leave behind family members, friends, and loved ones in agony to live with anxiety for life. The survivors of road accidents live a much painful, confused and emotionally disbalanced life especially when there is death of family members, friends and kins altogether in the accidented vehicle; or after going through deep physical healing. Total emotional recovery is never really achieved. Many remain traumatised for life. So, what’s the solution if there is no full recovery! Let’s face it! Suddenly children become orphan for the irresponsibility of some drivers or road users. The consequences of road accidents are mainly two-fold. One is death itself, upon impact, and second is casualty (which can take various forms form severe to mild and from permanent to moderate). In both cases the outcome is inhumane and traumatic. Let’s first start by abiding by the Traffic Laws.

Suraj Ray FCG

20 February 2023

Blog by AHEAD
Together We Move

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