Thompsons Solicitors is urging motorists across the UK to be more vigilant on the road during the summer months, a time when more children are likely to be playing outside.

The summer months see more people out enjoying the sunshine and lighter evenings, but the recent increase in temperatures coupled with schools breaking up for the summer holidays and the Pokémon Go craze, could mean the risks this year are greater than ever.

Thompsons is not alone in sharing this warning. Northumbria Police has also reminded drivers to stay vigilant on roads this summer by teaming up with a class of 10 year olds from Shaftoe Trust Primary School, in Haydon, to launch a new road safety campaign. This saw pupils star in an educational video teaching adults about the importance of road safety by highlighting the risks of drink driving and speeding.

In 2015, the Department for Transport (DfT) figures showed that the number of child fatalities and serious injuries on British roads increased for the first time in 20 years. 54 deaths and more than 1,900 serious injury cases were reported of children aged 15 and under as a result of road traffic collisions in 2015.

David Robinson, Chair of Road Peace in the North East and a solicitor specialising in serious road traffic accident claims at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “The summer holidays are a great time for families to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather, but this means that there are more children playing beside the road, so drivers must be more cautious.

“The latest figures released by the DfT are very concerning and suggest that drivers are not taking enough responsibility when they are behind the wheel.

“Far too often we’ve seen the heartbreaking consequences of road traffic collisions involving children, many of which could have been avoided had more attention been paid to the road and what was going on around them by the driver, and in some cases by the victim too. Although it is a parent’s responsibility to ensure their child doesn’t go running off into traffic and plays in a safe place, drivers have an equal amount of responsibility to ensure they drive responsibly to avoid accidents.”