People bereaved by crashes in Dorset are given a ‘map’ on how to deal with their loss by a charity dedicated to improving road safety.

The handbooks, which are given out by Dorset Police’s family liaison officers (FLOs), explain in detail the procedural and practical issues facing those who have lost loved ones.

The information packs are compiled by Brake, which campaigns to keep the roads safe for all who use them.

Officials from the charity also publish books for children who have been bereaved by crashes. The books help youngsters difficult subjects, such as what happens when somebody dies and how to begin coming to terms with a tragedy.

An accompanying guide for adults is available for anyone supporting those children and their families after a road death.

Those affected by a tragedy can also contact the charity’s national helpline.

Tracey Lister, Brake’s national road victim service manager, said: “A road crash is devastating for families.

“It’s a completely unexpected event, and everyone reacts differently to it.

“We’re not a traditional helpline – we don’t do a couple of one-off calls with people.

“Instead, we provide a specialist support service, which is person-centred with a single point of contact.

“The aim is to help callers feel able to cope, emotionally and practically, during the aftermath of a crash.

“In order to do this, we conduct a full needs assessment based on an individual person’s circumstances and we create a support plan around their needs at that time.”

The charity’s support network helps people cope in the aftermath of a crash, Tracey said.

“Long after the debris has been cleared away, the emotional damage caused by a road crash remains,” she added.

Brake is funded by a range of organisations, including the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset.

The charity can help put victims and families in contact with support workers, counsellors and bereavement support services, as well as personal injury specialists.

Helpers for the organisation are currently dealing with more than 100 cases.

Although the first contact with bereaved family members can be within 48 hours of the crash, some people choose not to contact the helpline immediately. Instead, they may choose to contact the helpline in the months or years after the collision.