Pedestrian Accidents - Important Message for All Road Users

08 December 2015

A significant feature of the UK road traffic data is that in general terms pedestrian accidents account for around 14% of all fatal accidents.

It is hard to be clear on just how safe or unsafe walking is as an activity because it is extremely difficult to calculate with any precision the amount of time they are exposed to road traffic. In addition, the benefits of walking are likely to outweigh the negatives when set against the backdrop of the hundreds of thousands of deaths caused by obesity, heart conditions and strokes.

The data is supplied by the Department for Transport and makes very interesting reading. Children are more likely to be injured in the spring and summer months whereas adults are more likely to be injured between October and January.

A plausible explanation for the both is the change in the weather conditions. In the former the pleasant weather facilitates more outdoor play and the latter in the early months is pleasant and fosters a more out-door approach to play. In the autumn motorists begin to adjust to the shorter days and drop in light conditions. Overall the casualty rate remains in or around 25,000 and the reduction in these figures has slowed in recent years.

It would also appear that the same is true for cyclists who killed or seriously injured and the numbers have increased, at higher rates that traffic increases, year on year for nearly a decade. Cyclists are nearly 30 times more likely to be seriously injured than an occupant of a car.

Moreover, over 90 % of cyclists killed or seriously injured have been involved in road accidents. These increases are also reflected in motorbike accidents which represent approximately 1% of the total road traffic users but account for approximately 20% of all deaths.

Again, as with cycling accidents, those killed or seriously injured are involved in collisions with other vehicles, around 75%. Motorcyclists are nearly 35 times more likely to be killed in a road traffic accident than an occupant of a car.

The important message for all road users is to ensure that you consider other road users including pedestrians. As light and winter weather conditions change, then so should your driving methods and journey planning.

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