Pedestrian safety is a key topic in this year’s Road Safety Week as we’re all urged to Drive Less, Live More in an effort to make our streets safer and more pleasant for everyone.
If a car journey really is unavoidable then drivers are urged to go slow and consider the more vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians.
How Vulnerable are Pedestrians in the UK?
When drivers don’t pay attention or drive too fast, they are putting pedestrians at a huge risk of being killed or injured.
Just how vulnerable pedestrians are on our roads really hits home when you consider the latest road casualty statistics which confirm that, last year, 446 pedestrians were killed on Britain’s roads and that pedestrians accounted for 25 per cent of all road deaths.
The Department of Transport statistics also reveal that pedestrian deaths went up by 12 per cent last year compared with 2013, so this year’s Road Safety Week theme of Drive Less, Live More really couldn’t have come any sooner.
Improving Pedestrian Safety
Hopefully, during this year’s Road Safety Week, more drivers will be tempted to ditch their cars in favour of walking, cycling or taking public transport.
For some people though, a car journey will be an absolute necessity – so it’s a case of educating drivers and reminding them that there are other road users out there who risk serious injury if they speed or drive without due care and attention.
For a while now, Brake’s GO 20 campaign has argued that a reduction in the urban speed limit to 20mph is vitally important to enable people to walk and cycle in their communities without being put in danger. Stopping distances are a major factor here – a driver may be able to stop in time at 20mph if a child runs out in front of them but not at 30mph, putting the child at a huge risk of being killed or seriously injured.
If a default 20mph limit was introduced, it would benefit people of all ages as more people would be tempted to walk and cycle as they’ll feel safer. And if this happens, communities will gradually become healthier and generally nicer places to be as more people get out and about and interact with each other.
A joined-up effort from the Government, local authorities and all drivers is needed during Road Safety Week – and beyond – to make a 20mph speed limit the norm and to make our roads safer places for all pedestrians.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers are one of the UK’s leading personal injury law firms and have many years’ experience in pedestrian accident claims.
Most of our road traffic accident compensation claims are dealt with on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning there is no financial risk to you.
For a free consultation about claiming for injuries sustained as a pedestrian, call Slater and Gordon Lawyers on 0800 916 9046 or contact us online.