Learning to drive is something we all look forward to because it means freedom and no more bus journeys! Sadly though, many young drivers are involved in serious accidents, where they kill or injure themselves and others. As the statistics creep up, it’s becoming obvious that something needs to be done to prevent these driving deaths from happening- which is where Brake come in. They’ve launched Road Safety Week, and between 21-27th November they’re urging young drivers to think twice before getting behind the wheel after one drink too many or calling their mates whilst they’re driving. Read on to hear about some of the tragic losses that have occurred due to the dangers of careless driving habits.
We all wish that love could last forever, but sometimes it’s snatched from our hearts too soon. Hayley Porter, 21, knows all too well the heartache of losing someone you love. “I was so happy with Joe and was looking forward to spending the rest of my life with him. I had found my soul mate.” Tragically Joe, who had just graduated with a degree in Mathematical Science, was killed in a crash with his friends. His friend was driving too fast when he lost control on a bend. The car hit a tree and flipped onto its roof, causing Joe to become trapped. He died at the scene. Two years on Hayley is still devastated and supporting Road Safety Week to help prevent other tragedies like this from occurring. “Drivers have a responsibility to look out for their passengers and other people; it’s not just your own life you risk when you drive fast or drink drive or use a mobile. Nobody thinks it will happen to them, but it does happen and it could happen to you or someone you love.”
Most of us would be devastated if we lost just one of our close friends, but Aaron Bufton, 20, has has to endure the heartache of losing two of this close friends. In 2009 Richard Blackhurst [pictured& was killed in a head on crash after trying to overtake a car on unfamiliar roads. Aaron tells how “everyone was devastated when Richard died, it was so overwhelming. It left a gaping hole in our group that doesn’t go away.” Tragically, Aaron then lost another close friend, Hayley Hobbs, 20, just a few years later. Hayley lost control of her car in icy conditions and hit a tree, dying at the scene. It was just two days after her birthday. “When Hayley died in another crash, I just couldn’t believe it. It’s sickening to think that they both had so much life left to give and missed out on great futures. Two friends dying in such horrible circumstances has had a massive impact on me. I’d never take risks on the road. You can’t afford to take chances when your driving as it could kill you or someone else.”
It’s not only drivers and passengers who are victims of road accidents, pedestrians are at risk too. Sisters Emma and Becky Harold were walking home one night with their friend Katy Wasyluk when a speeding car ploughed into them. Emma and Kate died at the scene and Beccy was left with serious injuries, internal bleeding and bruising to the brain. A drunk driver had hit them after driving on the wrong side of the road at 20 miles over the speed limit. Emma and Kate’s nephew Josh Luetchford, 17, is supporting Road Safety Week. “The heartache of losing someone close, at such a young age, and seeing another suffering from horrendous injuries, is indescribable – no families should have to go through this. Driving dangerously destroys lives – whether it’s speeding, driving on drink or drugs, or using a mobile at the wheel. I’m appealing to all young drivers to think about the consequences of their actions before they get behind the wheel, and make a commitment to never take risks that could end or ruin your life or someone else’s.”