Texting Driver Caused Life Changing Brain Injury
Heartfelt plea from crash victim as people hit the roads for summer trips after lockdown
Former soldier pleads with drivers to invest in a dash cam and to think before texting behind the wheel
A former soldier who was left with a life changing brain injury after a head on collision with a driver who veered onto the wrong side of a road whilst texting, has today issued a heartfelt plea as more people hit the roads for summer trips following the lifting of lockdown restrictions.
Iain Moore, 34, had just returned from his latest tour of Afghanistan when the accident occurred on Beacon Lane in Winterbourne, Bristol on 29th of June, 2013. He had been on his way back from a special lunch to celebrate his birthday with his then fiancé Sophie.
But the celebrations were brought to a devastating end when the driver of a Renault Twingo came round a bend on the wrong side of the road and hit them head on.
The couple were both badly injured as a result of the crash, but while the airbag on the drivers side helped to protect Sophie from the full force of the collision, Iain was thrown against the windscreen and suffered multiple injuries including lacerations to his face and a broken sternum.
Following the car crash Iain instructed expert Serious Injury Claims Solicitor Rose Gibson of Simpson Millar to help investigate what happened. The owner of the Renault Twingo was later charged with driving without due care and attention. He received a fine of £600 and 6 penalty points.
Whilst the driver of the Renault admitted liability, this was in the form of a plea bargain which pointed to a lack of due care and attention rather than an admittance of dangerous driving which resulted in serious injury.
Iain has today issued a plea to all road users to ‘think seriously’ about the potential damage of texting or checking a mobile phone while driving when getting back on the road following the recent lockdown.
He has also urged all road users to invest in a dash cam which can provide vital evidence following a crash.
He said, “What happened on that day has had a devastating impact on my whole life. While I am incredibly grateful to still be here, and to have my wonderful family, the reality of my injuries is something I battle with every day.
“To know that all of this could have been avoided if the driver of the other car hadn’t been distracted is just heart-breaking. I also see a driver on their phone every time I go out for a walk or in the car. People need to realise this isn’t acceptable.
“I hope that by speaking up others just take a minute to think about what they are doing before they act. Is that text really that important? If it is, please pull over. Don’t be the reason someone else suffers as we have.
“I would also really urge every single driver to invest in a dash cam. We’ve had a real battle to get to where we are and a lot of it depended on witnesses coming forward. A dash cam could have helped show what really happened and the process would have gone a lot quicker.
“If I had my way, they would be made mandatory.”
Cut out of the car by the fire brigade and transferred to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol for emergency care following the collision, Iain was later transferred to Military Medical Centre Headley Court for further treatment.
However, despite months of rehabilitation and the help and support of his family, the impact of the brain injury he sustained continued to affect his life so significantly that he was forced to leave the job he loved. He was medically discharged from the British Army where he had served as a Corporal for 10 years in the Royal Signals.
Now a married father of two, Iain still suffers from memory loss and extreme exhaustion making it difficult for him to carry out a normal job. He has also struggled with depression since the crash and has spoken openly about feeling isolated as a result of what he calls a ‘hidden injury’.
He said, “Despite the severity of my injuries I actually have very few visible scars, and so people often don’t realise that there’s anything ‘wrong with me’.
“For a long time after the crash I suffered with feelings of isolation, and the fact that no one seemed to really understand what I was going through because I looked just as I always had on the surface.”
Iain has recently started to produce short videos to tell his story and knowledge he has gained in a bid to help other people with acquired brain injuries. He says he wants to provide insight and guidance on what to expect, as well as support and reassurance to those affected as he has been that they are not alone.
He said, “I know, first hand, what it feels like to lose everything you once held so dear in a heartbeat through one persons’ stupidity. The life I had planned for myself, and my wife and children, was no longer the life I was going to be leading.
“I had to leave a job and life I adored, I had to accept that I was going to need help to do even some of the basic tasks of life, and I had to come to terms with the fact that I wasn’t going to be able to do the normal things dads do with their children like going to soft play, or driving them to school.
“That’s a tough process to go through, and if I can help just one person with the videos I am creating, then I will feel like that was all worthwhile.”
His wife Sophie, a primary school teacher who was driving the car at the time of the crash in which she sustained a shattered kneecap said, “Our lives have changed beyond recognition because of what happened.
“I wish we could go back in time, and that neither of us had to suffer the physical and emotional trauma that we continue to endure, but we can’t. I only hope that by speaking out someone, somewhere, learns a lesson and makes a commitment to never use their phone while driving.
“If need be, stick it in the boot, in a bag, on the back seat. Somewhere that’s out of the way and out of temptation.”
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