persons shadow at a pedestrian crossing

Pedestrian Safety and Road Traffic Accidents in the UK

Find out more about pedestrian safety and road traffic accidents

Pedestrian safety is a critical concern when it comes to road traffic accidents in the United Kingdom. With the increasing number of vehicles on the road and the growing population, it is essential to understand the most common causes of pedestrian accidents and how pedestrians themselves can contribute to road accidents. By examining these factors, we can gain insights into improving pedestrian safety and reducing the occurrence of tragic incidents.

Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Several factors contribute to pedestrian accidents on UK roads. Understanding these causes can help us develop effective measures to prevent such accidents and protect pedestrians. Here are some of the most common causes:

Distracted Driving and Walking

Distracted driving has become a significant concern in recent years, primarily due to the use of smartphones and other electronic devices while behind the wheel. Drivers who are distracted by texting, talking on the phone, or using navigation systems are more likely to overlook pedestrians, leading to accidents. Similarly, pedestrians who are engrossed in their phones or listening to music with earphones may fail to notice oncoming traffic or cross the road without proper attention, putting themselves at risk.

Failure to Yield Right of Way

Failure to yield the right of way is another frequent cause of pedestrian accidents. Both drivers and pedestrians have specific responsibilities when it comes to giving way. Drivers must yield to pedestrians at crosswalks and intersections, while pedestrians should wait for a safe opportunity to cross the road, especially in areas without designated crossings. Ignoring these rules can result in collisions and potentially fatal accidents.

Impaired Driving and Walking

Impaired driving, often due to alcohol or drug consumption, poses a significant risk to pedestrians. Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs may have reduced reaction times, impaired judgment, and compromised coordination, making it difficult for them to notice and avoid pedestrians. Similarly, pedestrians who are intoxicated may make poor decisions and have impaired coordination, increasing the likelihood of accidents.

Poor Infrastructure and Road Design

Inadequate infrastructure and road design can contribute to pedestrian accidents. Insufficient lighting, absence of pedestrian crossings, lack of sidewalks, and poorly designed intersections all increase the risk for pedestrians. These factors can make it harder for drivers to see pedestrians and for pedestrians to navigate safely. Improving the infrastructure and implementing better road design are crucial steps towards enhancing pedestrian safety.

Pedestrian Responsibility for Road Accidents

While drivers bear a significant responsibility for pedestrian safety, pedestrians themselves can also contribute to road accidents. It is essential for pedestrians to be aware of their role and take measures to ensure their safety. Here are some ways in which pedestrians can be responsible for road accidents:

Distraction and Inattentiveness

Pedestrians who are distracted or inattentive while crossing the road increase their chances of being involved in an accident. Engaging in activities such as texting, talking on the phone, or listening to loud music can divert their attention from oncoming traffic. By remaining alert, pedestrians can better assess the road conditions and make safer decisions.

Impairment and Intoxication

Just as impaired driving is dangerous, impaired walking can also lead to accidents. Pedestrians who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs may have impaired judgment, reduced coordination, and slower reaction times, making it difficult for them to react to traffic situations effectively. It is crucial for pedestrians to refrain from walking while impaired and to make alternative arrangements for their transportation.

Lack of Visibility

Pedestrians who fail to make themselves visible to drivers put themselves at risk. Wearing dark clothing at night or in low-light conditions, walking along poorly lit areas, or crossing the road from behind obstructions can make it difficult for drivers to see pedestrians in time to avoid a collision. Pedestrians should wear reflective or brightly colored clothing, especially in low-light conditions, and ensure they are visible to drivers.

By recognizing their role in pedestrian safety and taking appropriate precautions, pedestrians can significantly reduce their chances of being involved in road accidents.

Making a Road Traffic Accident Claim

In unfortunate cases where a pedestrian is involved in a road traffic accident, it is important to understand the process of making a claim. Seeking compensation can help cover medical expenses, loss of income, and other damages resulting from the accident. Here are the key steps to consider when making a road traffic accident claim as a pedestrian in the UK:

Seek Medical Attention

The well-being of the pedestrian should always be the top priority. After an accident, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention, even if the injuries seem minor. Prompt medical evaluation not only ensures proper treatment but also establishes documentation of the injuries, which can strengthen the claim.

Gather Information and Evidence

Collecting relevant information and evidence is vital for building a strong claim. This includes obtaining the driver’s contact details, insurance information, and the details of any witnesses present at the scene. Additionally, taking photographs of the accident site, injuries sustained, and any visible damages can provide valuable evidence to support the claim.

Report the Accident

Reporting the accident to the appropriate authorities is an important step. In the UK, road traffic accidents involving pedestrians should be reported to the police within 24 hours if there are injuries involved. The police report will serve as an official record of the incident, which can support the claim.

Consult National Claims

Engaging the services of the experienced National Claims, where we specialise in road traffic accident claims. We will provide guidance throughout the claims process, assess the strength of the case, gather additional evidence if necessary, and negotiate with the insurance companies involved.

People walking on a pedestrian safety.


Pedestrian safety is a significant concern in the UK, considering the potential risks of road traffic accidents. By understanding the most common causes of pedestrian accidents and recognizing the responsibilities of both drivers and pedestrians, we can take collective action to enhance safety on the roads. It is essential for drivers to practice caution, follow traffic rules, and remain attentive while behind the wheel. Likewise, pedestrians must be mindful of their surroundings, obey traffic signals, and avoid distractions to minimize the risk of accidents.

In unfortunate circumstances where a pedestrian is involved in a road traffic accident, seeking legal advice and making a claim can help in receiving rightful compensation for the damages suffered. By following the necessary steps, such as seeking medical attention, gathering information and evidence, reporting the accident, and consulting National Claims.

Ultimately, fostering a culture of pedestrian safety, improving road infrastructure, and promoting awareness among both drivers and pedestrians are crucial for reducing road traffic accidents and ensuring the well-being of all road users. Let us work together to create safer roads and protect the lives of pedestrians in the UK.

Contact us today to start your claim and find out more about making a claim with us regarding your road traffic accident.

Click below to see why we are one of the most trusted claims management companies in the UK.



Find out if you have a claim

Get free, no obligation advice from claims specialists.

Related News

Hassle-free claims process

Our expert panel of solicitors can typically confirm almost immediately whether your claims application is likely to be successful and also give you an indication of how much you could potentially claim for.