On RoadPeace’s 30th anniversary year, I have been reflecting on my role as coordinator of Ince’s legal panel relationship with the charity, and thinking about how we have played our part in helping and supporting the victims and their families when the unthinkable happens.

For me driving is not a chore, but a hobby, something I have enjoyed since the day I first passed my test. But the moment can be ruined when you see others driving recklessly, putting at risk people who are going about their normal every day business.

The work I do at Ince, assisting victims affected by fatal and catastrophic road crashes, lays bare for me the effects when such crashes occur.

As a specialist personal injury solicitor I am able to help victims and their families obtain financial help from those responsible for the crash, but understandably legal help is not often at the forefront of a victim or family member’s mind.

First there will be the grief and the need for understanding and emotional support: being able to talk with others who have experienced similar tragedy, and learning how others manage to cope with their loss. RoadPeace, the national charity, is able to put such groups in touch with each other, so they can benefit from mutual support.

Working closely with RoadPeace has therefore given me a new perspective. While participating in the RoadPeace support sessions we held in our office pre-pandemic, I was able to see just how much comfort people obtain from being able to open up to others (even complete strangers) and discuss what has happened and how they are feeling. I saw people making 3-4 hour journeys to attend these meetings, new friendships created, and practical advice being shared with those more recently bereaved.

My team has helped a number of crash victims and their families obtain, through legal protocols, the financial support they will need for the future, and it has been comforting to know that RoadPeace has at the same time been able to assist some of our clients with their emotional needs.

Sometimes RoadPeace’s support meetings even highlight areas of public safety that could really be improved, and it is good to know that RoadPeace will happily investigate any road safety issues raised, and make representations to relevant working committees if that would make our roads safer.

So I feel very privileged to have been able to work together with RoadPeace over the last few years, and hope that between our two organisations we can help crash victims and their families - at least to some extent - steer their way through some very difficult and tragic times.