19 Aug 2020

Injury Prevention Week 2020

On average, a pedestrian was killed every 88 minutes in traffic crashes in 2018.

Pedestrian safety is the theme of this year's Injury Prevention Campaign by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) after research found worrying gaps in road safety knowledge. APIL commissioned research by YouGov, which worryingly revealed that most people who do not drive did not know that white lights indicate that a parked car is about to start reversing.

"The number of pedestrian fatalities has not improved over the last 10 years which is why we are taking this very seriously," said Sam Elsby, President of APIL, which hosts Injury Prevention Week.

"We also found that many parents are not confident about their children’s understanding of how to stay safe on the roads."

One in eight parents went as far as to say they are very concerned about their children’s safety.

Elsby continued; "As children prepare to go back to school after lockdown and the summer holidays, we are asking for the support of the MPs to help press the importance of the Green Cross Code in their constituencies."

Following the #PocketThatPhone campaign led by APIL, here are some unsettling statistics surrounding pedestrian casualties that will make you want to 'pocket that phone' whilst walking to help prevent needless accidents on the roads:

  • 44% of non-drivers don’t know how to tell if a car is about to reverse into them.
  • Pedestrians account for more than a quarter of road deaths.
  • Nearly 22,000 people were on foot when killed or injured in the last year. That means 60 people will be harmed just today.
  • Children aged 15 and under account for around a quarter of pedestrian injuries and deaths on British roads.
  • 72% of drivers say that they often see pedestrians step into the road while distracted by their mobile phones.
  • One in three mobile phone users admit they are so engrossed with their gadgets they don’t pay attention.

Below are some useful tips for both pedestrians and drivers, in the hope of avoiding further unnecessary accidents.

Tips for pedestrians: 

  • Always use dedicated pedestrian crossings to cross the road.
  • If a crossing isn’t available, locate a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic. Wait until there is a gap in the traffic that allows enough time to cross and do so safely.
  • Remind children to put all electronic devices away and be vigilant before crossing (stop, look, listen).
  • Be careful when walking up driveways - there could be cars pulling in or reversing out.
  • Always try to walk on the footpath or pavement. If there are none, then keep in a single file line to the right-hand side of the road so you can see oncoming traffic.
  • Carry something that is bright or fluorescent (an armband, jacket, footwear etc.) to make other road users aware that you are there when it is dark.
  • Carry a small torch that you can easily clip onto your key chain or use the smartphone torch app when walking at night.
  • Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.
  • Avoid alcohol or drugs when walking; they impair your ability to use your judgment.

Tips for Drivers: 

  • Ensure you stick to the speed limits, especially in residential areas and be extra cautious of children who may appear from behind parked vehicles.
  • Be extra vigilant when approaching junctions or zebra crossings. People may be in dark clothing, making them hard to see.
  • Eliminate all distractions from inside your car so that you can concentrate better.
  • Take care when entering or exiting a drive, especially if you are reversing out onto the main road. Check all blind spots before reversing.
  • Ensure your headlights are working and not obstructed by dust or dirt. Switch them on before driving at dusk so you're not driving around unseen.

You can find out more about Injury Prevention Week by visiting APIL’s website.

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