Thursday, August 11, 2022
UncategorizedThe Importance of Road Safety for All Users

The Importance of Road Safety for All Users

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Road safety is an incredibly important aspect of modern living. We use roads every day, as a primary method of transport – whether by car, bicycle, public transport or even on foot. It is easy to take roads for granted, assimilated as they are into our daily lives. But roads can pose a significant risk to life, and it is crucial that they are approached with safety in mind.

Photo by Nabeel Syed on Unsplash

Risks to Life

Road use represents a danger to life for everyone; cars can be lethal instruments, causing a wide variety of injuries, from physical trauma to stress-related mental illness. As a driver, the burden of responsibility is often on you to ensure the safe operation of your vehicle and prevent accidents where possible.

Liability is an important aspect of managing road risks, as well. For example, if you suffer a head injury due to an accident for which another road user was at fault, you may be liable for head injury compensation – a civil remuneration for a dangerous situation, and a financial reminder of the dangers of the road for others.

Safety for Cyclists and Pedestrians

Road risks are not only to be considered by drivers on UK roads; cyclists and pedestrians alike should also take care when using roads, as well as implementing precautions to lower the risk of suffering an accident. Protective clothing is an effective preventative measure, especially reflective gear for low light conditions. The Highway Code already recommends that cyclists wear fluorescent clothing to increase their visibility to other road users, but that advice could easily extend to pedestrians to limit the likelihood of a collision when crossing roads.

Staying Up to Date

Many of the lessons we learn about road safety as a pedestrian or as a road user are drilled into us at an early age. However, sometimes guidance can change with regard to best practice – and not knowing how that guidance may have changed could result in injury.

A recent example of this lies in the changes to the Highway Code, implemented at the start of 2022. The updated code includes the formal introduction of a road user hierarchy, indicating which road users get priority over other users at junctions or in lane merges.

Pedestrians officially have the highest priority, as reflected by other new rules which direct drivers to give way to pedestrians before turning into a junction from a main road. Cyclists also have formal right of way when passing in a cycle lane, requiring drivers to wait for them to pass before turning – as well as the right to use any part of the road to feel safe, as opposed to just the far left.

These changes could result in injury if not adopted by certain road users, with inattentive drivers turning into pedestrians or cyclists instead of waiting for right of way. As such, it is key to stay abreast of any changes to laws or guidance when it comes to using UK roads.

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