Monday, January 17

Life was turned upside down when Catrin ended up in a traffic accident

June 2020: Catrin Alhaug is cycling on her way to work. When she has arrived in Greenland, she is hit by a truck.

Alhaug is seriously injured, and at the hospital the doctors quickly inform her that her left foot must be amputated.

– Do not understand it until you are there

This was followed by six months of rehabilitation. But even if she survived, the time after the accident has been tough. For everyday life suddenly became different than it was before.

– Many say that “you are not your leg, so you are the same”. But I’m not. I think of so many more things than before. And then it hurts, because it’s like wearing a ski boot all the time, says Alhaug.

PROSTHESIS: Alhaug had to amputate one foot due to the injuries she received in the accident. Photo: Kristin Grønning / TV 2

Many people do well after being out for serious accidents. So does Alhaug, but it was difficult to prepare for the new everyday life without one foot. She believes it is important to remember that not all days are equally good.

– What you see in social media is the one moment where you have a little mastery in everyday life. But no one sees the wounds on the stump, how painful it is, and no one can understand a phantom pain. You do not understand it until you are there, she says.

Hundreds are injured in traffic accidents annually

New and safer roads are being built at a high pace and the car fleet is becoming more modern. In addition, the number of fatalities in traffic has fallen steadily in recent years. In 2021, 87 people lost their lives on Norwegian roads. The number of seriously injured has also decreased.

MANY ARE INJURED: - We must be aware that accidents still happen.  Many times it is luck that you survive, says Per Oretorp in the Personal Injury Association LTN.  Photo: Pål Martin Rossing / TV 2

MANY ARE INJURED: – We must be aware that accidents still happen. Many times it is luck that you survive, says Per Oretorp in the Personal Injury Association LTN. Photo: Pål Martin Rossing / TV 2

But there are still many who are injured in accidents in Norway. Between July 2020 and July 2021, 550 were registered as seriously injured in traffic accidents in Norway. Every year since 2010, between 500 and 750 have been seriously injured.

Although much points in the right direction, one must not forget that a large number of people come from accidents with permanent injuries every year, says Assistant Secretary General of the Personal Injury Association LTN, Per Oretorp.

– We must be aware that accidents still happen. Many times it is luck that you actually survive. Then you have to ask yourself what it is you survive on. If you are alive when health personnel arrive at the accident site, the probability of surviving is very good, says Oretorp.

– Very many of our members live with injuries for the rest of their lives, in the form of pain, memory problems, reduced mobility, reduced ability to work. They pay a high price for traffic accidents, and we must not forget that. So measuring road safety success only in the number of people killed is not good enough in itself, he adds.

Target of strong reduction by 2030

Road Director of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, Ingrid Dahl Hovland, says that great efforts are being made to build safe cycle paths.

– In the big cities, 80 billion will be put on the table in the next two National Transport Plan periods to work to separate soft road users as much as possible, and prevent various incidents in cities. It will be important for us in the future, says Dahl Hovland.

VISION: Road Director Ingrid Dahl Hovland and the Norwegian Public Roads Administration aim for far fewer people to be injured in accidents in the coming years.  Photo: Kristin Grønning / TV 2

VISION: Road Director Ingrid Dahl Hovland and the Norwegian Public Roads Administration aim for far fewer people to be injured in accidents in the coming years. Photo: Kristin Grønning / TV 2

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration has a vision that there will be a maximum of 350 killed and seriously injured in 2030, where a maximum of 50 of these will be killed. To reach the goal, Dahl Hovland points to several things.

– In the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, we work for as good a road body as possible. When it comes to operation and maintenance, we will do what we can to ensure good driving conditions. Then it is the car industry that delivers good and safe vehicles, says Dahl Hovland, who also points to those behind the wheel.

– The last category is the driver, who must be responsible and have a motivation to be a good driver, says Dahl Hovland.

Back to work

Catrin is still on her way back to everyday life after the accident a year and a half ago. She is back at work in a 40 percent position. In addition, she has a project underway for people who have to have an amputation to get more information and knowledge about how life can be after the amputation.

But she is still affected by the accident.

– It goes better than it did at the very beginning of course. But it’s a really tough day.

WANTS TO HELP OTHERS: Catrin has started a project with the goal that people who have to amputate will gain knowledge about how the road can continue.  Photo: Kristin Grønning / TV 2

WANTS TO HELP OTHERS: Catrin has started a project with the goal that people who have to amputate will gain knowledge about how the road can continue. Photo: Kristin Grønning / TV 2

Reference-www.tv2.no

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