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New Highway Code Paving the Way for Pedestrians

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New Highway Code Paving the Way for Pedestrians

New Highway Code Paving the Way for Pedestrians

The Highway Code was updated earlier this year and brought in new rules aiming to improve the safety of vulnerable road users; pedestrians and cyclists. The changes see the introduction of a new hierarchy which ranks road users in order of those who are most at risk in the event of an accident. This places a greater responsibility on those at the bottom of the list, which includes drivers of larger vehicles like buses and HGVs, followed by vans/minibuses, cars and taxis, motorcyclists, horse riders, with cyclists and ultimately pedestrians ranking at the top as the most vulnerable.

The new rules also increase the priority that pedestrians have when waiting to cross a road. At a junction, road users should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross a road into which, or from which, the road user is turning. The experience that cyclists have on the road should also improve as significant changes to road position and the rules of overtaking have been laid out. The revised rules also set out safe passing distances when overtaking pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders

Accidents involving pedestrians and other vulnerable road users are very case dependant and there are a number of factors to consider when assessing liability, these include:

  • Specific road conditions at the time of the accident
  • Time of day and lighting
  • Presence of accessible pedestrian crossings
  • Weather conditions
  • The legal speed limit
  • Age of the claimant i.e. if the claimant is a child

The unfortunate reality is that, in many cases, pedestrians come off far worse than other road users for the obvious reason that they are the most vulnerable. Accidents can result in minor injuries like grazes and soft tissue injuries all the way up to more serious broken bones or catastrophic brain injuries. Injury of any kind can have a big impact on a person’s day to day life and that of their family, so it is very important to seek specialist legal advice. At Dutton Gregory Solicitors, we have an expert team that deal with cases involving pedestrians and other vulnerable road users. To find out how we can help, call us on 02380 213784 or email contact@duttongregory.co.uk