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Newcastle Authorities Urge Pedestrians to Ditch Phones

Students in Newcastle are being urged to look up from their phones, as many accidents in the city centre are caused by people failing to take care when crossing the road.

Using the #distracted campaign on Twitter, Newcastle Police and Newcastle City Council are hoping to raise awareness of the dangers of the road. It’s a new take on the Stop Look Listen campaign that has been run by the UK Government for many years.

Between 2009 and 2013 there was a significant increase in the number of pedestrians injured or killed on Newcastle’s road, and more than a third of those involved were aged 18-22. The city council says that the biggest reason for the increase in accidents is simply that people are not paying attention when crossing the road, which is usually down to them concentrating on their phones more than the danger of moving vehicles.

It’s a new take on road safety as the pressure is usually put on drivers to take more care and pay more attention. This time it’s the pedestrians that are being actively targeted to look up from their phones and see where they’re going.

When it comes to road traffic accidents involving car versus pedestrian, you may think that the driver of the vehicle is always completely to blame as they should be watching the road at all times. But this isn’t always the case as sometimes there is nothing a driver can do to avoid hitting someone who just didn’t look as they stepped off the pavement.

When assessing fault in a road traffic accident, there is a term called “contributory negligence.” This is applied where it is decided that one party is not completely to blame for the accident. For example: you are driving along at 30 mph in a built-up area, paying attention to everything around you, when, without warning, someone steps off the pavement in front of you. You were aware of pedestrians on the pavement but you weren’t expecting - and could not have anticipated - the course of action taken by someone not looking.

In this example the pedestrian would be found to have contributed to the accident and the proportion of blame is split depending on how much time the driver had to avoid the collision.

In Personal Injury Claims, the pedestrian would be assigned a percentage of blame and this would be deducted from the compensation. So if you are hit by a car but it was because you stepped off the pavement without looking, then you would be entitled to compensation, but not as much as you would have been if it wasn’t your fault at all. We’ve written a blog about the use of dashboard cameras being used to prove fault in accidents which you can read here.

If you have been involved in a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault, either as a driver or pedestrian, you can call Slater and Gordon Lawyers for a free consultation on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we will call you.

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