Australian drivers can now get ‘R’ plates if they need some space and empathy on the road

These plates are designed for drivers who are returning to the road after being involved in a severe accident.

Driving after a traumatic experience can be dangerous and even fatal. People who are involved in a car accident are  “at increased risk for psychological problems, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).” according to the National Library of Medicine. Extra alertness from other drivers might be beneficial for those persons. Australian drivers will now be able to display a specially designed “R” plate on their vehicle to inform other drivers that they require additional space and consideration on the road.

Mycar, the company behind the launch, writes on its website: “We care for those with physical injuries from a road incident, but we rarely consider the mental toll road trauma can take.” It added, “The ‘R’ Plate signifies to other road users that the driver may need some extra care, giving them time and space to recover. Recovering drivers can confidently return to the road knowing they are in a supportive space.”

People who use the “R” plate will feel less pressure to drive again and will garner empathy from other drivers on the road. This can help people prevent accidents and deal with the trauma connected with them.

According to 7 News, the new “R” plate has a QR code that directs to local and national professional assistance services in addition to being shown on the car. The program, according to Dr. Jason Thompson of the University of Melbourne, acknowledges a critical concern on Australian roads. “The journey through to recovery, and a return to confidence, is unique to each individual and often takes time,” he said. “Returning to the road can be a scary and a nerve-wracking experience, so even just having those feelings recognized could help people in their recovery.”

According to, the return plates are not an officially sanctioned road item, but they have been linked to a baby on-board sticker. Mycar is providing these in an effort to encourage more empathy on the roadways. The signs will be mailed to you when you register, or you may easily print them at home.

The project comes at a critical time in Australia, when the incidence of vehicle accidents is on the rise. According to a 1,000-person poll conducted in August of this year by Pureprofile, around three-quarters of Australians have been affected by a traffic incident, according to Perth Now. 21% needed at least six months to feel safe behind the wheel again. According to the report, 66% of Australians felt safer learning to drive with noticeable L or P plates because other drivers would give them more room. According to a Budget Direct research performed last year, 64% of Australians aged 18 and up with a driver’s license had been involved in at least one car accident. Similarly, hospitalized crash injuries have increased, according to data from the Australian government’s department of transport. Mycar Tyro & Auto is not yet supported by a government regulator, and the company is asking drivers to file a petition to change this.