There is much research and action concerning the pre-crash and crash issues but the post crash situation is much more neglegted.
There are many possibilities to act on the post crash response to minimize the injuries and also use this fifth pillar of the UN Decade of Action to prevent crashes by making in depht analyzes and highlighting the consequences for the victims and their families.
Serious post crash response is a vital component of effective road safety policy and demands that once a fatal or injury crash has occurred, two parallel actions take place:
- 1) Thorough investigation, followed by measures to prevent a recurrence, along with criminal and civil proceedings where appropriate
- 2) Immediate short-term rescue interventions and longer-term rehabilitation and support for those who sustained injuries and their families and care-givers, as well as for the relatives of those killed
Therefore, we recommend that governments:
- 1) Accord priority to improving emergency services and the immediate post-crash response (golden hour) and the adoption of a global emergency telephone number
- 2) Provide early rehabilitation to minimize emotional trauma, especially in children, and ensure social medical (psychological and physical) and legal care for injured victims and bereaved families to satisfactory national standards, for as long as this is needed
- 3) Conduct thorough investigations of crashes, especially fatal and injury crashes, in order to identify all causes and employ all available measures to prevent their recurrence, drawing upon existing research and proven reduction measures from other countries –‘no need to re-invent the wheel’
- 4) Award settlements to victims, based on a fair and proportionate assessment of short and long-term effects suffered by them, independent of the insurance status of the person or vehicle that caused the crash and according to transparent and timely procedures
- 5) Provide automatic compensation to the most vulnerable users, except in cases of proven gross negligence by them; i.e. apply strict liability law, based on the principle that the party with the greatest “uncontrolled kinetic energy concentration” is likely to cause greater damage, and therefore bears the greater responsibility
- 6) Apply an effective, proportionate and deterrent legal response to road law violations and death and injury caused thereby, commensurate to the offense of endangering life, taking a life or affecting quality of life, with procedures and verdict delivering justice for road crash victims
- 7) Conduct national situational reviews to monitor road collision investigation capability, number of criminal prosecutions in cases of road death and injury and standard of services for crash victims