Scroll down to access all Brake’s support guides for road crash victims.
If you have been bereaved or seriously injured in a road crash or are helping someone who has, you are entitled to help from Brake’s National Road Victim Service. The service is an accredited, professional source of emotional support, practical information, referral to other sources of help, and advocacy to help you during this difficult time. Find out more here or call freephone 0808 8000 401 to meet your Brake Case Worker.
Support during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic
We recognise that being bereaved during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic will be challenging. Government restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus (such as social distancing and self-isolation) mean that many people cannot spend time with their loved one’s body after their death, nor hold a normal memorial gathering.
Faced with this particularly challenging type of bereavement, people may experience a range of difficult feelings and symptoms. How you react is normal for you, and understandable in the circumstances. Looking after yourself is the most important thing right now, and will help your recovery. Family and friends can also provide care and support to anyone who is grieving.
Our online support resources are still available to you (see links below). You may also find it useful to read some of the information on our Sudden website (supporting those bereaved by sudden death) that relates to bereavement during, and by, COVID-19:
Support following a death on the road
Coping with grief
This guide helps you understand common emotions and feelings following a road death. It provides straightforward advice on how to cope and who can help.
Information and advice for bereaved families and friends following a death on the road
These guides contain information on what happens after a crash, practical issues, investigations and criminal charges, court cases, claiming compensation, and useful organisations:
Road crash bereavement in England and Wales ( web pages | pdf | translations)
Support books for children and their adult carers
When someone you love dies in a road crash it is a shattering experience, whether you are a grown up or a child. As a parent or carer, it can be particularly difficult to know what to say to bereaved children or how to behave around them.
Someone has died in a road crash is a picture book for children to read with adults after a road death. It uses simple language and colourful pictures to communicate important messages and encourage discussion and honesty between children and their carers. It is a simple way for families in distress to share emotions and support each other at a bleak time.
Helping children bereaved by road death is a guide for adults who are caring for children bereaved by a road crash.
Both books are available to order by calling the Brake helpline on 0808 8000 401 or you can ask your police contact.
You can also download both books for free here. Please click on the links below.
Support following a serious injury in a road crash
This guide (last updated 2005) is for families whose loved ones are being cared for in an Intensive Care Unit. It covers emergency admission to hospital, staff and equipment in an ICU, practicalities, recovery or death in an ICU, and emotional support.
( web pages )
This guide (last updated 2014) contains information on hospital, rehabilitation and disabilities, claiming compensation, investigations and criminal charges, coping with emotions and feelings, and useful organisations.
Support following sudden death by any cause
Sudden is an initiative by Brake to help ensure people suddenly bereaved by any cause can access quality support, by sharing advice, best practice, research and resources among carers and support professionals.
This booklet on Coping with grief, available to download or for free in hard copy, helps you understand common emotions and feelings following a sudden bereavement. It provides clear information on procedures and straightforward advice on how to cope and who can help.
Hard copies of our book for children, Someone has died suddenly, are available to order free of charge. This book helps families and carers support suddenly bereaved children of all ages through their terrible shock and grief and help them to lead full and happy lives again.
Brake’s Sudden initiative offers research and guidance, seminars and training opportunities, support books, and a free bulletin for professionals who work with people bereaved by sudden death.
Our standards, feedback and complaints
Brake’s support standards
Brake takes very seriously the requirement to meet the needs of people bereaved and seriously injured by road crashes, and to provide them with the best quality support we can.Read our support standards.
Feedback and complaints
Government agency codes and standards
Information about the standards of care that you are entitled to are outlined on our Government agency codes & standards page.
Giving back to Brake
Many of Brake’s supporters and volunteers have been affected by death or injury in a road crash and want to give something back to the cause, to help Brake campaign to stop more casualties and support other people who are injured or bereaved. There are lots of ways that you can get involved, including in memoriam donations and collections, fundraising, campaigning, and volunteering.
If you’d like to chat to us about ways to get involved, fill in our quick volunteer form.
Brake's support guides are funded by public donation and by a number of agencies, including the Department for Transport, The Scottish Government and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
For information about seeking legal support following a road crash, see Brake’s legal support webpage