What impact did the Highway Code have on road safety?
However much we try to protect people like cyclists, pedestrians and other more vulnerable road users, anyone who uses the road is at risk.
It has been more than a year since the UK government introduced changes to The Highway Code, which aimed to offer greater protection to vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, horse riders and cyclists. The changes, which included a new hierarchy of road users, were intended to hold drivers of heavier and faster modes of transport more responsible for ensuring the safety of others on the road.
The Highway Code changes
Despite these well-intentioned changes, there are concerns that many road users are still unaware of them. For example, one significant change that has been implemented, is that pedestrians are now given stronger priority at junctions, whether they are crossing the road or waiting to cross. It is not just drivers who are required to give way but also horse riders and horse-drawn vehicles too. In addition, pedestrians and cyclists must also be given priority on parallel crossings.
A recent survey commissioned by the charity Cycling UK and carried out by YouGov revealed that there has been no discernible difference in the awareness of car and van drivers regarding correct overtaking distances. This suggests that many drivers are still not up to date with the changes to the code and their responsibilities.
Shockingly, the survey revealed that a quarter of adults who participated knew nothing at all about the changes, and only 30% of drivers who drive at least once a week had some awareness of the update and could correctly identify the new overtaking guidance. This lack of awareness among drivers could lead to potential dangers for more vulnerable road users, who may now expect to have priority on the roads but may not receive it from those in cars and vans.
Safety awareness on the roads
It is still too early to determine whether the changes have had a significant impact on the number of casualties caused by road traffic collisions and data on this will not be released until later this year. Even with this information, it will be impossible to determine how many collisions could have been avoided if the new guidance had been more widely publicised and acknowledged.
Road users must stay up to date with any changes to The Highway Code to ensure that they are aware of their responsibilities and obligations on the road. This awareness would help to ensure the safety of everyone, especially the most vulnerable.
Have you been injured in a road traffic accident?
If you’ve suffered a personal injury or were harmed in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. To make a personal injury claim, you should seek the advice of a reputable personal injury solicitor who can guide you through the process.
One significant benefit of using a solicitor that offers a No Win No Fee service is that you won’t have to pay any legal fees if your claim is unsuccessful. This means that you can pursue a claim without having to worry about the financial risks associated with it. In addition, most personal injury solicitors tend to offer a free initial consultation so they can advise what you need to do next.
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