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Pedestrian road fatalities still increasing: please take care out there

By 24th March 2016Accident Claims

As part of our month-long focus on Road Safety at DMA Law, we have already looked at Road Safety technology that is finding its way into more and more new vehicles – now we want to discuss pedestrian safety.

March is always one of the peak times of year for road accidents involving pedestrians. We talked last autumn about the effect that the darker evenings can have – and conversely, the lighter evenings can have a similar effect.

 The lighter evenings we enjoy when the hour goes forward means there are far more children on the roads, and it usually coincides with the Easter holidays, which, again, means there are lots of excited and distracted young people on the roads.

The latest-available statistics on road injuries and fatalities (for 2014) show a reduction in the number of people dying on our roads – 1,775 people died on our roads. The Government claims this was the third-lowest year on record (records began in 1926, but the current definitions run back as far as 1979 for useful comparisons).

The statistics also suggest the number of fatalities has decreased by 45% since 2005.

There are two significant points to make at this stage:

  • Any reduction in fatalities is good news, but 1,775 road deaths is still 1,775 too many. Just one road death would be one too many. That is 1,775 lives lost, and many more lives that have been affected.


  • As always, the headline statistics don’t show the full picture. The number of pedestrian fatalities actually increased – from 398 in 2013 to 446 in 2014.The Government puts this increase down to a statistical anomaly, and says there is not necessarily an underlying reason for the increase. However, it does ally with the suspicion that, while vehicles may be doing more to increase driver and passenger safety, there is still much work to be done to bring pedestrian safety to an acceptable level.

Other deaths included:

  • 113 cyclists
  • 339 motor cyclists
  • 797 car occupants

At DMA Law, our accident claims division deals with the after effects of countless devastating road crashes, and serious or fatal injuries involving all road users.

We can only ask that people please, PLEASE look out for each other on the roads. Drive at sensible speeds, appropriate for the location and conditions, and concentrate at all times.

As the weather improves, take extra care when you’re out and about in the country. We have some of the UK’s best rural locations in our region, but rural roads suffer from a disproportionately high number of fatalities, so be careful.

If you are a pedestrian, make sure you are seen. This doesn’t just mean wear bright or reflective clothing, it means behaving predictably, remaining vigilant and looking after yourself. Don’t take risks on the road because you can’t guarantee how other road users will behave.

Finally, if you are a parent, make sure your child is aware of the dangers on the roads. Make sure they are mindful and respectful of cars, that they cross roads carefully and, even if you live on a quiet street, that they are especially careful near your own home, where they will likely feel safest and therefore most relaxed/complacent.

The Government stats can be read in full here. If you have been hurt in a road crash, you can contact us for free and confidential advice, either by phone on 01325 482 299 or by coming to our free and friendly legal walk-in centre, on Skinnergate in Darlington.