Lesson 1: Cause and effect – lasting consequences

Exploring the effects of being involved in a road incident through drama and / or creative writing.

Learning objectives

For students to:

  • explore the impact of a road traffic incident on those involved and their families.



Links to PSHE - 4d

Links to English / Drama - 1.2, 2.1, 2.3, 3.1, 3.3, 4.1, 4.3


60 minutes with extension as required.

Students explore the consequences for family, friends and victims following a road incident. The scenario provided shows the aftermath of a crash on a rural A-road. Investigations show that the driver, who had recently passed his test, lost control of the car on a bend and hit some trees. One passenger is killed while the driver and two other passengers survive.

As this activity focuses on a fatal collision, before using this activity with your class, you should familiarise yourself with its content and check whether any students in your class has been involved in a serious road incident, or whether a member of their family or a close friend has been involved in one. If this is the case, you may wish to:

  • prepare them before using this activity in full
  • use only the first section of this activity, stopping after the discussion about possible causes, outcomes and consequences, before using the rewind and fast forward buttons
  • use an alternative Key Stage 4 activity
  • use the Key Stage 3 activity – Incident scene: Josh

Guidance on managing sensitivities can be found in the teachers' notes.

Introduction - 5 minutes

Tell students the road incidents are the biggest cause of accidental death amongst young people. Use one or two of the road safety facts from What do you know? or What do you think? to set the scene. Tell students that you're going to produce some creative writing / a drama performance based on a road incident.

Incident scene - 25 minutes

  • Deliver the PSHE lesson plan, Cause and effect, but allow less time for discussion.

Creative writing / drama - 25 minutes

  • Students choose one of the people involved in the incident and produce a piece of work that describes the effect of the incident on them. This could be in many different forms such as a role play drama, video diary, podcast, poem or written account. The diversity of responses could allow students to explore different writing styles. For example, radio, newspaper or television reports and first or third person viewpoints.
  • The role cards (PDF 480KB) - new window provided describe the different participants and suggests possible points to consider. These are meant to stimulate thought and students should be encouraged to think of other impacts that the incident could have on those involved.

Plenary - 5 minutes

  • Has this piece of work affected their attitude towards road safety? Do they feel it is more relevant to them? Will they change their behaviour in any way in the future?

Extension activity

  • Work could be continued into one or more additional lessons.