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It’s Brake Road Safety Week, a campaign to help save lives and encourage schools, organisations and communities to act on road safety.
In today’s blog, Anna Cole, specialist personal injury solicitor and road safety expert, gives her tips on improving pedestrian safety to prevent people from being seriously injured or killed on our roads.
Pedestrians are vulnerable road users, and moving vehicles can be lethal weapons. The impact of a moving vehicle nearly always causes injuries, and in the most serious road traffic accidents, the injuries can be life-changing, even fatal.
Of course, road accidents are not always just caused by motorists. Pedestrians can be at fault, for example, if they walk in front of a vehicle without looking and cause the driver to swerve and crash. However, in the eyes of the law, a higher duty of care is placed on the driver of the vehicle.
Here are eight tips to help improve pedestrian safety:
- If there is a pavement, you should use it.
- If there is no pavement, keep to the right-hand side of the road so you can see oncoming traffic.
- Wear or carry something light-coloured, bright, or fluorescent in poor daylight conditions and when it is dark, use reflective materials.
- If there are barriers across a road, you should only cross at the gaps provided for pedestrians, you should never climb over the barriers or walk between them and the road.
- If you cross between parked vehicles, use the outside edge of the vehicle as if it was the kerb. Stop and make sure it is clear before you cross. Never cross in front or behind any vehicles with the engine running, especially large vehicles as drivers may not be able to see you. Make sure that you listen out for electric cars and scooters.
- When crossing the road, first find a safe place to cross and stop just before you get to the kerb. Look around for traffic and listen. Remember, you may not hear e-scooters or electric cars. If traffic is coming, let it pass. When it is safe, go straight across the road and do not run.
- At pedestrian crossings, a pedestrian should only cross the road at traffic lights when a constant green man is showing. If the green man starts flashing when you are in the process of crossing, continue to cross, but if the green man is flashing when you arrive at the junction do not cross.
- At a zebra crossing, wait until the traffic stops from both directions and the road is clear before you cross. Traffic does not have to stop until somebody has moved on to the crossing. Keep looking both ways and listening in case of drivers or riders haven’t seen you and are attempting to overtake vehicles. Remember, a pedestrian crossing does not give you an absolute right as a pedestrian to step into the road. As outlined in the Highway Code, you need to be vigilant before you step out. It is unwise to step on to the crossing when a car is already going over the crossing without stopping.
Here are some things you might not know about pedestrian safety:
- Lollipop men and women owe duties to children and must take care when the children are under their supervision to ensure they don’t run out into the road.
- If you are a pedestrian standing on the pavement, you can consider yourself safe, as vehicles should not be on the pavement.
- Pedestrian crossings are governed by the Zebra, Pelican and Puffin Crossing Regulations and General Directions 1997. The law prohibits vehicles from stopping on crossings and overtaking at crossings and gives precedence to pedestrians over vehicles at Zebra crossings.
- If a pedestrian is drunk or intoxicated and is involved in an accident in a personal injury claim, the Court needs to look at the degree of negligence of the driver and their blameworthiness and then try to establish how the intoxication contributed to the Claimant being injured.
- Children are particularly vulnerable pedestrians and drivers need to take even more care when they are or are likely to be in the vicinity.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault, our expert solicitors are here to help. To find out if you can make a compensation claim, contact us on Freephone 0800 884 0777, email email@example.com or complete our online form for a free, no-obligation chat.