Pedestrians Responsible for Own Safety

According to the Department of Transport’s Annual Report of 2012 there were 195,723 reported casualties on the roads of Great Britain, including 1,754 fatalities.

In 2012, 5,979 pedestrians were killed or seriously injured, and 26% of these were under the age of 16, 8% aged up to seven and 18% were between eight and 15 years.  There are many factors which contribute to why accidents occur and these can include the influence of drugs, drink, using mobile phones and conditions of the roads, as well as a general lack of care for safety.


Drivers Still Using Mobile Phones

I am staggered at the amount of people I see on the roads, on my way to and from work, who are still using mobile phones whilst driving, and who do not take care for their own safety by not even ensuring they have their lights on in the dark!  Drivers are responsible for the safe control of their vehicle on the road, but pedestrians should also be aware that they are also responsible for their own safety.

Pedestrians who choose to cross roads in unsafe places, who fail to check the road before crossing, or who wear dark clothing in poorly lit areas, may find themselves facing allegations of contributory negligence against them, if they seek compensation for any injuries they sustain.

Each personal injury claim is case sensitive and if allegations of contributory negligence are raised, the court would have to assess the facts of the case and determine apportionment of liability between the pedestrian and driver, for which there are no strict rules for the court to follow. 

Pedestrians Could be 50% Responsible

Whilst historically drivers often faced a higher burden, to reflect the potentially dangerous nature of driving, pedestrians who choose to walk out in the road without checking, wearing their headphones listening to music on their mobile device may find they are held as much as 50% responsible for their own injuries. 

Cases like these are more likely to be litigated with the defendants maintaining that pedestrians should be more responsible for their own safety. 

Apportionment of blame either way can have a significant impact on the level of damages which can be recovered, and where injuries are serious any reduction can affect the opportunity for a claimant to rehabilitate and adjust their lifestyles after an accident.