I was only in primary school when I had to see the aftermath of what happened to my dad when he was run over by a car whilst riding his bike.

"My name is Adrienne Fritchley and I was just 10 years old when my family was impacted by road trauma.

I remember the day like it was yesterday and being 26 now, it shows how great of an impact that day had on me. I recall seeing my dad in immense pain, day in and day out. Some days he would just lay there, not saying anything and not even eating. It was the saddest I have ever felt.

I feel great amounts of anger towards the lady that ran him over. I did back then, and I still do 16 years later. I think things like “how could she have not seen him?” and “are you sure you didn’t notice you ran over him?”

What got all my family through this traumatic event though was how close we all are. We have always been that way, so the incident didn’t really bring us closer together, but it was certainly a moment that made me realise how short life is, and how lucky we are. Now, I view my life as if it’s so short. I strive to love what I do every moment of every day.

I still reflect on the day of the incident. I sometimes think that I was lucky to have been the age I was, as I was somewhat oblivious to the extent of the great risks that were brought upon my dad from his injuries. Due to my dad’s injuries and luckiness to be alive, I am a HUGE advocate in the importance of wearing a helmet. My dad’s helmet was smashed in half, which would have been his head. I don’t think my dad reflects on the event as much as I do, and he still loves riding his bike. He is very strong.

I feel that more than ever, people need to take road safety more seriously. We take bike lanes and flashy bikes for granted, but people need to understand how important both road safety and road rules actually are. I wish people would stop for just a second, to reflect on why road rules are put in place. From my experience with road trauma, I think it’s important to know that no matter what situation you are in, in your life, it’s your mental strength that is the most important, next to staying healthy and treating your body like a temple."

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Road Trauma is a serious issue in Australia than impacts thousands of individuals, families and communities every year. What can you do to play your part in reducing the toll on our community?

Our thanks to Adrienne for telling her story.