The emotional impact of a road traffic incident…

This post has been written by Rosemary Pell, one of our colleagues at RUSS – the Road User Support Service – a unique organisation based in the South West, offering complete rehabilitation assistance to help deal with the emotional problems and trauma as a result of a road traffic incident. For more information, do contact us here at The Terrace and we will be happy to give you more information.

Staff at Road User Support Service

Staff at Road User Support Service

This is my first post and I admit to feeling a little apprehensive!  However, my irrational fear pales into insignificance when I consider the symptoms experienced by some of my clients after they have been involved in or affected by a road traffic incident (RTI).

My main business (RUSS – Road User Support Service) professionally supports people who are finding it hard to come to terms with the aftermath of a collision, whether they are drivers, passengers, cyclists, pedestrians, witnesses or family members.  The treatment available is irrespective of the severity of the incident or of blame.  It maybe the incident was a horrific life changing event or a considered to be just a minor bump.  However, each client’s experience is unique to them and is treated with the upmost respect and care.

It was owing to my personal experience of two head on car crashes, in addition to training in trauma therapy, that has brought me to this work which I have felt privileged to be involved in and enjoyed for 17 years.

You may know someone who is suffering after a road incident who may have one or all of the following symptoms, and may have some others to add to the list:

–  Flashbacks and/or intrusive thoughts

–  Sleep disturbance

–   Impaired concentration

–   Lethargy

–   Mood swings, anger, irritability

–   Social withdrawal

–   Reduced work performance

–   Avoidance of driving, being a passenger – maybe preferring to walk or use public transport

–   Generally anxious and fearful

All of the above are normal reactions.  Some symptoms will settle down with the passage of time, others may need professional intervention.

Coping strategies, information and advice is available free on the RUSS website RUSS also has a Team of appropriately qualified counsellors to assist clients in coming to terms with the incident, one of whom, Annie Rivers, works at The Terrace in Taunton. In addition we also have empathic Approved Driving Instructors who help drivers regain their confidence and lessen anxiety when they are behind the wheel.

Next time I will write about victims, survivors and thrivers and give you a very interesting case study!

Thanks for reading my 1st Blog.  I hope you have found it interesting and helpful.

Rosemary Pell, Manager RUSS.

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