A road sign saying 'elderly people'

Who Are Classed as Vulnerable Road Users?

Find out who is classed as a vulnerable road user

Imagine a bustling city, its roads filled with a continuous stream of vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians. Amidst this vibrant flow of transportation, there is a group of individuals who require extra care and consideration – the vulnerable road users. These are the people who are at higher risk of getting injured or involved in accidents on the roads. In this article, we will explore who these individuals are, why they are considered vulnerable, and what measures we can take to ensure their safety. We will also guide you through the best steps to take when making a road traffic accident claim.

The Vulnerable Road Users: Defined and Identified

Vulnerable road users include a diverse range of people, from the young to the elderly, and those with physical disabilities. They are typically more susceptible to road accidents due to their limited ability to protect themselves in dangerous situations. The following groups are considered vulnerable road users:


Pedestrians are perhaps the most common and obvious vulnerable road users. They include anyone who travels on foot, such as pedestrians walking on sidewalks, crossing streets, or waiting at intersections. Regardless of their age or physical condition, pedestrians are at risk of accidents, especially in busy urban areas.


Cyclists are individuals who ride bicycles on the roads. They share the same space with motor vehicles, and their exposure to potential collisions makes them vulnerable. In many urban areas, the number of cyclists has increased significantly due to the promotion of eco-friendly transportation.


Motorcyclists are another group classified as vulnerable road users. While they have the advantage of motorized transportation, they lack the protective metal shell that cars provide. This leaves them much more exposed in case of accidents, making them prone to severe injuries.


Children are among the most vulnerable on the roads due to their lack of experience and limited ability to assess risks. They can be pedestrians, cyclists, or even passengers in vehicles, and their size and behavior can make them challenging to spot for drivers.

Elderly Individuals

As people age, their physical abilities might diminish, making them more vulnerable on the roads. Elderly individuals often face challenges like reduced mobility, slower reaction times, and diminished vision, all of which contribute to their vulnerability.

People with Disabilities

People with physical disabilities, such as those using wheelchairs or mobility aids, are also considered vulnerable road users. They face additional obstacles, such as inaccessible infrastructure and inadequate accommodation for their needs.

Understanding the Risks and Statistics

In the UK, vulnerable road users account for a significant proportion of road traffic casualties. According to recent statistics, vulnerable road users make up approximately 46% of all road traffic casualties. This staggering figure underscores the importance of addressing the safety concerns of these groups and implementing measures to protect them.

Safeguarding Vulnerable Road Users

To reduce road traffic casualties involving vulnerable road users, various measures can be implemented:

Infrastructure Upgrades

Improving infrastructure is crucial to ensure the safety of vulnerable road users. Designing wider sidewalks, designated cycle lanes, and pedestrian crossings with clear visibility can significantly reduce accidents.

Speed Limits and Traffic Calming

Enforcing lower speed limits in residential areas and near schools and public spaces can create a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists. Traffic calming measures, such as speed humps and roundabouts, can also help mitigate the risks associated with high-speed traffic.

Education and Awareness

Raising awareness about the presence and vulnerability of these road users is essential. Education campaigns targeted at drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians can promote responsible behavior and foster a culture of mutual respect on the roads.

Vehicle Safety Standards

Improving vehicle safety standards can have a substantial impact on vulnerable road users’ safety. Features such as pedestrian detection systems, blind-spot monitoring, and crash avoidance technologies can help prevent accidents.

A group of cyclists

Making a Road Traffic Accident Claim

Unfortunately, road traffic accidents involving vulnerable road users are not uncommon. If you or someone you know has been involved in such an incident and suffered injuries, it’s essential to understand the process of making a road traffic accident claim.

Gather Information and Evidence

As soon as possible after the accident, try to collect as much information and evidence as you can. This may include the names and contact details of witnesses, photographs of the accident scene, vehicle positions, and any visible injuries. Such evidence can be crucial when filing a claim.

Seek Medical Attention

Your health and well-being should be your top priority. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, it’s essential to seek medical attention promptly. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent but could worsen over time. Having a medical record of your injuries will also be important for your claim.

Contact the Authorities

In cases of serious accidents, it’s vital to inform the police and file an accident report. This official report can serve as additional evidence when making your claim.

Consult with National Claims

Navigating the legal complexities of a road traffic accident claim can be overwhelming, especially if you are recovering from injuries. Hiring the services of us at National Claims, where we have experience in handling such cases can be invaluable. We will guide you through the process, and work to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses. We will also walk you through the claims process.


Vulnerable road users are an integral part of our society, and their safety on the roads should be a shared responsibility. As we have explored, pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, children, elderly individuals, and people with disabilities are all classified as vulnerable road users. They face unique risks and challenges that require our attention and proactive measures to ensure their well-being.

Through infrastructure improvements, lower speed limits, public awareness campaigns, and advancements in vehicle safety standards, we can make significant strides in reducing road traffic casualties involving vulnerable road users. Prioritizing safety and fostering a culture of mutual respect among all road users will create a more inclusive and compassionate road environment.

In the unfortunate event of a road traffic accident involving a vulnerable road user, seeking legal guidance and making a road traffic accident claim may be necessary to obtain fair compensation for injuries and losses. Remember to act promptly, gather evidence, seek medical attention, and consult with National Claims to navigate the process effectively.

Let us work together to create safer roads where everyone, regardless of age or ability, can travel with confidence and peace of mind. By championing the cause of vulnerable road users, we can build a more harmonious and secure road network for generations to come.

Contact us now to find out more about road traffic accidents with National Claims and start your claim.

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