Have you ever wondered exactly what the media mean when they say someone suffered a “life changing injury”?
It’s something that 25,484 British families understand all too well, as a result of just one year’s worth of road traffic accidents. That’s the reported figure for people who were severely injured on British roads in the 12 months to June 2018. Add that to the deaths and minor injuries, and you have a shocking total of 160,378 people hurt or killed in one year alone!
Time to honour victims, and take action
That horrific annual total for deaths and injuries is also why road safety charity Brake is holding its Road Safety Week 18th to 24th November 2019. The theme of this year’s event is Step Up for Safe Streets. The campaign highlights that everyone can do their part in improving road safety, and reducing deaths and injuries in the UK.
Your life is changed, not over
For Disability Equality North West there’s a twin message for anyone who has already been unfortunate to be involved in a road traffic incident: “your life isn’t over”.
‘Life-changing’ is not the same as having no prospects for a happy, fulfilled future.
Even people who suffer severe injuries in road accidents – or from any number of unexpected twists of fate – have the chance to find new purpose and enjoyment in their days, with the right support and guidance.
It’s why Disability Equality North West works with a number of partner organisations – including the Lancashire Independent Living Service (LILS) – to highlight the ways in which tasks of daily life can still be achievable, even after “life-changing” road accidents.
In fact, the term life-changing could be applied in a positive way, to finding the help needed to make adjustments and go forward!
Yes, it is generally used to describe a truly awful event. The legal definition of a life-changing injury is something “catastrophic”; so serious that it creates permanent disability or long-term health problems. Both could also bring a reduction in the victim’s life expectancy.
It includes, for example, brain and spinal injuries caused in road traffic accidents, and loss of limbs.
The uncertainty, fear and heartbreak are not confined ‘just’ to the road accident victim too. Their families can also find their life changed completely, as they support a partner, parent, sibling or child to face the reality of their altered condition.
It’s hard enough, but ‘coping’ (or living) with life changes after a road accident is at least somewhat easier with the right team around you.
Which is why if you or a loved one have been involved in a life-changing road accident, we would love to hear from you.