What is The Hierarchy of Road Users?

What is the hierarchy of road users? Not many people know, in fact IE would guess that about 50% of the adult population would struggle to define the word hierarchy. If the privileged elite who set policy in the Civil Service used the more widely understood word “priority” instead, then perhaps there wouldn’t be so many accidents at junctions and in busy urban streets.

For guidance, the hierarchy on UK roads now puts pedestrians at the top of the pecking order, with cyclists and horse riders next. So you are supposed to give way to pedestrians, especially at junctions, even if they breaking the old rules of the road by walking out into traffic wearing earbuds and staring at a TikTok video. That doesn’t matter. It’s potentially your fault if you hit them, you need to proceed with care when dealing with cyclists, horse riders or pedestrians and take every chance to avoid them. 

But many drivers still believe that the old ideas about “right of way” apply. The end result of course can be collisions and injuries.

Here’s the word from Admiral who have researched the problem;

Admiral Car Insurance has revealed the dangers facing pedestrians after the latest provisional Government figures show more than 16 people are killed or seriously injured on UK Roads every day.

The insurer’s research is highlighting the lack of understanding on the different types of pedestrian crossings on our roads, with only 9% of those surveyed able to identify a puffin crossing correctly, and more than half (57%) unable to identify a pelican crossing.

According to the latest provisional figures from the Department for Transport (DfT), 6,161 pedestrians were killed or seriously injured on UK roads between July 2021 – June 2022 – a rise of over 30% compared to the previous year. In total, over 19,000 pedestrian casualties were recorded across the UK with this figure including those who are killed, seriously injured, or slightly injured – more than 2 every hour.

Last year, the Hierarchy of Road users was added to the Highway Code in a bid to make UK roads safer for all road users, with the structure establishing pedestrians as the most vulnerable due to the risk they face if they are involved in an incident. But a year on from its introduction, Admiral’s research reveals only a third (35%) of those surveyed have heard of the guidance. While awareness is slightly better among younger people (41%), just 8% of over 65s are aware of it.

The DfT’s figures also highlight the increased risk facing pedestrians, with the group revealed to be the second-most at risk of death or serious injury after car occupants. In fact, the latest data reveals the number of pedestrians killed or seriously injured on British roads increased more than any other road user group, up by 30% compared to the previous year. Worryingly, the number of child casualties is also up by 13%. By comparison, the number of pedal cyclists increased by 5% over the same timeframe.


About alastair walker 12577 Articles
20 years experience as a journalist and magazine editor. I'm your contact for press releases, events, news and commercial opportunities at Insurance-Edge.Net

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