Thousands of pedestrians are involved in a road traffic accident each year.

In 2018, more than 22,000 pedestrians were injured on the roads, of which more than a quarter of which were serious or fatal, according to the Department for Transport.

At Thompsons, we have seen first-hand the impact a road collision can have on a pedestrian. Our client, Adam, was just eight years old when he was hit by a car at a pedestrian crossing and suffered a traumatic brain injury. While some accidents are unavoidable, Adam’s story is one of many that emphasises how vulnerable pedestrians are.

How can pedestrians avoid accidents?

There are a number of reasons why pedestrians are involved in road collisions. Pedestrians can get injured as a result of poor driving vehicles, poor road surfaces or by not looking properly as they cross the road.

There are a few things pedestrians can do to limit their risk of getting hurt on the roads. Whether you want to refresh your knowledge of the rules of the road, or teach young children how to become a safe pedestrian, these pedestrian safety tips will help to make sure everyone is safe when using the road.

Stay alert

Never assume a driver is going to stop at a crossing.

People crossing a pedestrian crossing.

Ensure vehicles on either side have stopped before crossing and remove your headphones so you can listen for upcoming vehicles. You will often hear a car coming before you can see it. Look out for pedestrian road safety signs and any obstructions you should be aware of.

Walk in safe places

Walk safely and in sight. Use the pavement where possible. Many pedestrian accidents are caused by poor road surfaces and lighting, so make sure you walk in well-lit areas – it will help you to see the surface ahead. Whenever possible, plan your route in advance.

Be mindful

Avoid walking while under the influence of alcohol. Not only can alcohol impair your vision, it can also affect your reaction times and decision-making skills. We often make decisions subconsciously while walking, such as when it is safe to cross the road. Alcohol can make it more difficult to make those decisions, putting you at greater risk of an accident. If you know you will be drinking alcohol, order a taxi or arrange a lift in advance.

Remove distractions

Pedestrians need to be as alert as motorists when using the road, so limit distractions. This means putting your phone and other handheld devices away when crossing the road.

Make sure you’re visible

If you are out walking, be as visible as possible. Walk in well-lit areas, stick to the pavement, wear bright colours when it’s dark and make eye contact with drivers ahead of crossing the road. These things will help ensure drivers and other road users are aware of your presence.


More about road safety

For more pedestrian safety tips and advice on road safety, and to find out what to do if you are involved in a road traffic accident, visit our #StayRoadSafe campaign hub using the link below. Alternatively, for more information about how our solicitors can support you in a road traffic accident, visit our pedestrian accident claims page below.