Pedestrians now make up a quarter of all deaths on the UK’s roads, ahead of motorcyclists or cyclists, according to new analysis by road safety charity IAM RoadSmart. Only car occupants have a worse record.
The charity’s analysis was based on Department for Transport figures, which show that in 2016 448 pedestrians lost their lives, a rise of 10% over the previous year. This is apparently the biggest increase for any group of road users.
These figures have prompted the charity to call on drivers to take more care on the roads and be alert for other road users.
It says that observing, anticipating and planning will save lives on the roads, as a fifth of drivers “failed to judge the other person’s path or speed” in car collisions - and the number of pedestrians who made the same wrong choice just before a fatal or serious impact amounted to 17%.
“Often people like to blame one sector for the causes of accidents,” commented Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart Director of Policy and Research. “What is clear, and has always been so, is that we all play a part in each other’s safety whatever we are driving or riding, and whether we are on foot or not.”
But Neil pointed out that while blame may not be easy to apportion, the fact a car versus pedestrian crash is an unequal match means drivers must take on a special responsibility for looking out for the safety of those on foot.
“Slowing down around pedestrians and constantly scanning for clues to their intention is essential if we are to reduce the growing toll of pedestrian fatalities on our roads,” he added. “As drivers we have an advanced safety shell around us, pedestrians only have flesh and bone.”
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