Pedestrian Road Safety Guide

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Road Safety for Pedestrians

When it comes to road safety and behaviour, we often only think about motorists. Of course, drivers have the greatest responsibility to ensure that their actions are safe, legal and convenient, but pedestrians also must act appropriately at all times.

Below you can find a guide on how to act as a pedestrian so that you don’t put yourself, and other road users at risk. Browse the different sections for tips, and enquire with our team for legal advice on all manners related to road safety.

General Steps to Take

Pedestrians might not have the most responsibility on the road, but there are plenty of ways you can ensure that you maximise your safety on or by the road.

  • Look before you go
  • Stop, look and listen
  • Look both ways, even on one-way roads
  • Never cross the road at a bend
  • Always use a crossing if available
  • Wear light, fluorescent and reflective clothing
  • Walk on footpaths and pavement if available
  • Make sure traffic has fully stopped before using a crossing
  • Always hold childrens’ hands to keep them safe

Just Don’t Risk It

For decades now there have been a number of initiatives to encourage proper street behaviour for pedestrians. Whatever phrase helps you remember, it’s always key to only cross the road when you’re certain that it’s safe.

This means that you should always look both ways, never gamble on the speed at which a car is travelling, and always use pavements and paths.

Be Aware Of Vulnerable Users

Pedestrians aren’t the only vulnerable users when it comes to the road. The most recent guidance on road safety promotes the Hierarchy of Road Users, which denotes the users (those at the top) that are most likely to be injured. Inversely, those at the bottom of the hierarchy are at the least risk, but also have the greatest responsibility to reduce potential harm.

The Hierarchy of Road Users is as follows:

  1. Pedestrians, in particular children, older adults and disabled people
  2. Cyclists
  3. Horse riders
  4. Motorcyclists
  5. Larger vehicles

Know The Facts About Accidents & Deaths

It can be very sobering to know the facts and statistics about pedestrian safety. Unfortunately, many people die on the roads every year, and being aware of the facts can encourage pedestrians to take greater care.

If you would like to learn more about the legal repercussions of accidents, collisions and fatalities, then click here.

Take Out The Headphones

Whether you’re listening to music, podcasts or an audiobook, wearing headphones can impede your ability to listen out for hazards.

If you’re jogging or trying to get somewhere quickly, you should always remove your headphones before crossing the road. There are a number of audible signs that can help you determine whether it is safe to cross, so you must ensure that your hearing isn’t affected.

Know The Highway Code

Even if you don’t drive or don’t have a licence, it’s still incredibly important to know when and how to act appropriately. By reading and keeping up to date with the Highway Code, you can learn how to respond to any situation.

By knowing how motorists are supposed to respond to certain situations, you will have greater confidence in regards to right of way, access and more.

The Highway Code also has a section dedicated to pedestrians, that includes information on general behaviour, road crossings, other crossings, and scenarios where you will need to act with extra care.

How To Respond To An Accident

Whether you were directly involved or witnessed an accident, it’s important to offer whatever help you can.

First off, make sure that all those involved are safe. Apply pressure to bleeds and move any injured people to a safe location, but only if necessary. Do not remove clothing from those involved in the accident, and await medical personnel once 999 has been called.

If those involved have been attended to, you can assist by taking the names, addresses and contact information of those who witnessed the event.

Take photographs of the scene, anything damaged during the accident as well as the vehicles involved.

If you weren’t directly involved, then you do not need to contact the police to make a report. If you are involved, make a report as soon as it is safe to do so.

FAQs About Road Safety for Pedestrians

Who is at Fault if a Car Hits a Pedestrian?

There is no clear answer when it comes to fault. No accident is the same and there are a variety of legal responsibilities that must be considered before fault is given. It’s always important to seek legal guidance, and at JMW, we can provide fast and confidential advice via phone or email.

What Sort of Compensation Can You Receive After an Accident?

Compensation can range anywhere from £1,000 to more than £100,000, depending on the case.

Financial compensation depends on many factors, so it is always important to speak with a legal professional so that you receive the maximum compensation. Our solicitors are experts and are happy to speak confidentially with you.

Do Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way?

Contrary to popular belief, pedestrians don’t always have the right of way. Although pedestrians are given priority in many instances, there are certain situations where they do not.

Generally speaking, pedestrians DO have right of way when:

  • When already crossing a road at a junction
  • When already on a zebra crossing
  • When already on a crossing and the lights turn to amber

If you would like legal advice on responsibility when it comes to a specific incident, please get in touch on 0345 872 6666.

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