Our personal injury solicitors represent pedestrians who are the victims of negligent drivers in accident compensation claimsp claims throughout the United Kingdom on a no win no fee basis. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client. To speak to a pedestrian injury claim solicitor at no cost and without obligation just call the legal helpline or complete the form or email our solicitors offices.
Most pedestrian injuries are caused due to a lack of care by the driver of a motor vehicle and whilst bad weather may contribute to the cause of the accident there is usually a more fundamental reason which often involves alcohol of driver fatigue. Children and the elderly are the most vulnerable groups and in these two categories there is often a degree of contributory negligence due to a failure to observe fundamental safety guidelines including the Green Cross Code which most children should know:-
The legal blood/alcohol limit in the UK is 80milligrams of alcohol contained in 100 ml of blood, 35 micrograms of alcohol contained in 100 millilitres of breath, or 107 milligrams in 100 ml of urine.
Current drink driving law requires that the police can only ask a driver to undertake a breath test in certain restricted circumstances. Anyone who is driving or is attempting to drive or who is in charge of a motor vehicle on a road, highway or in a public place can be required to provide a sample of breath for analysis to ascertain whether they are over the prescribed limit of alcohol. The only person that is allowed to make this request is a uniformed police officer in any one of the following circumstances :-
- There must be reasonable cause to suspect that a moving traffic offence has been committed or is about to be committed.
- There must be reasonable cause to suspect that the person driving or attempting to drive or who is in charge of the vehicle has been drinking.
- There must be reasonable cause to believe that the person driving or attempting to drive or who in charge of vehicle has been involved in an accident.
Drink driving means that vision will become less sensitive to red light including brake lights and traffic lights. Concentration will be severely impaired and it will take longer to react to fluctuating conditions and emergencies therefore increasing stopping distance and greatly increasing the risk of a drunk driver accident.
One unit of alcohol is 1 small glass(125ml) of wine (8% ABV), 1 small glass (50ml) of sherry or port (20% ABV), half a pint (284ml) of ordinary strength beer, lager or cider (3.5% ABV) or 1 single measure (25ml) of spirits (40% ABV).
The consumption of alcohol can have devastating and far reaching social and financial implications not only on the victim but also on the offender including a possible jail sentence, loss of driving licence for at least twelve months and a fine of up to £5,000. For a high risk offender whose blood alcohol level is above 200 mg or a second offender within the space of ten years the minimum disqualification period will be three years.
Research carried out by Loughborough University on behalf of The Department of Transport and Local Government suggests that one car insurance claim in ten is caused by driver fatigue. According to the road safety organization 'Brake' up to ten people a week die on our roads from injuries caused by fatigue at the wheel.
Driver fatigue has been described as the 'Silent Killer' and there is mounting evidence that it plays a part in a high proportion of road traffic accidents. Some studies have shown that drowsiness accounts for 16% of all crashes and over 20% of motorway crashes. In a recent poll carried out by Gallup on behalf of the British Sleep Foundation, 19% of male drivers said they had fallen asleep while driving.
Cars are now much quieter and more comfortable than they were years ago, and relatively new innovations like cruise control mean that the driver has far less to do. Even without cruise control boredom soon sets in if a driver sticks at 70mph on a quiet motorway with few decisions to make. The time of day is an important factor in sleep related crashes and drivers are particularly at risk during the early hours of the morning or the middle of the afternoon. Drivers who have not had a good nights sleep prior to a long journey are more at risk of driver fatigue than those who have.
Sleep does not occur without warning and prior to actually falling asleep the driver experiences feelings of increased sleepiness where they have to constantly blink their eyes and shake their head in an attempt to fight off sleep. In the most serious cases the driver loses the willpower to act and mistakenly believes that they can stay awake. At the first sign of tiredness, rather than following the traditional remedy of simply winding down the window, which has only a short-term effect, the driver should stop as soon as it is safe. High energy drinks usually have high concentrations of caffeine and can assist in improving concentration if the driver starts to flag. A driver who willfully drives without having had enough sleep or who drives when the signs of tiredness become obvious may find that his insurers refuse to cover him if he makes a car insurance claim.
Drivers must avoid taking medicines that cause drowsiness as a side effect. Anti motion-sickness pills, anti histamines and some cold and flu remedies that can be bought over the counter at pharmacies and supermarkets can make driving dangerous and drivers should read the label for any warnings regarding driving or operating machinery.
Green Cross Code
The Code was introduced in 1971 to replace the Kerb Drill which, due to the increasing volumes of pedestrian accident injury was becoming ineffective. The Green Cross Code is more specific and gives children and their parents positive instructions regarding crossing roads. One problem had been that children were getting confused between 'right' and 'left' and were not looking properly but simply going through the motions. This new code which included the phrases 'look all round' and 'listen' aimed to make children more aware of the environment all around them and think then act accordingly :-
First find a safe place to cross then stop :-
The safest places to cross are protected places such as Pelican Crossings or Zebra Crossings but care must be taken even at these places to ensure that the traffic has stopped. Pedestrian footbridges or underpasses are even safer because they separate pedestrians from the traffic. When travelling to school always follow the schools designated "safe route". Always use the School Crossing Patrol. If there are no protected places then you must find a place where you can see the traffic and the drivers can see you. This means away from parked cars and if possible, not at a road junction where traffic could be coming from different directions.
Stop just before you get to the kerb :-
Stop in a position where you can see the traffic and the drivers can see you. Stop a little way back from the kerb not right on the edge.
Look all around for traffic and listen :-
Look and listen carefully in all directions, if you have to cross near a junction you must look and listen for traffic using the side road as well as that on the main road. It is better to cross well away from junctions if you can to reduce the risk of a pedestrian accident injury.
If traffic is coming, let it pass :-
If you can see or hear any traffic coming let it pass. When the traffic has passed look all round and listen again.
When it is safe walk straight across the road - do not run :-
Only when you are sure it is safe should you cross the road but still keep on looking and listening for traffic while you cross.