Who Gets Priority Under The Highway Code Changes?

You may want more information about the Highway Code changes. This guide will outline some of the relevant changes and clarify how you may be able to claim compensation for a road traffic accident if you’ve been injured due to negligence. 

A guide to The Highway Code changes

A guide to The Highway Code changes

If you want to know anything about making a personal injury claim, you can contact our team of advisors at any time that’s best for you. They can inform you if you’re able to claim and can provide you with a free compensation estimate. Furthermore, they can also connect you to our panel of solicitors. A solicitor from our panel could work your case under a No Win No Fee agreement. 

Contact us using the below details. 

Read on to find out about how The Highway Code changes could affect you. 

Select A Section

  1. The Hierarchy Of Road Users Under The Highway Code Changes
  2. Who Is Given Priority At Roundabouts And Junctions?
  3. Who Is Given Priority In A Shared Space?
  4. When Do Cyclists Get Priority Under The Highway Code Changes?
  5. What Could You Claim If Injured In A Traffic Accident?
  6. Start Your Traffic Accident Or Injury Claim

The Hierarchy Of Road Users Under The Highway Code Changes

The Highway Code establishes the duty of care for road users in England, Scotland and Wales. This duty of care illustrates how every type of road user needs to conduct themselves to keep themselves and others safe. If someone acts (or fails to act) in a way that breaches their duty of care, causing your injury, you may be able to claim if you’re able to prove that their negligence caused your injury. 

This is why Highway Code changes are so important – any amendment can affect how you need to behave on the road. Certain road users bear a greater responsibility due to the vehicle they’re driving. The hierarchy of road users outlines the type of vehicles that have the most responsibility due to the potential damage that can be caused by dangerous driving

How does this change in hierarchy affect me? 

Rule H1 states that the road users that bear the greatest responsibility include vans/minibuses, drivers of large goods and passenger vehicles, motorcycles and cars/taxis. Cyclists, horse riders and drivers of horse-drawn vehicles are seen as more vulnerable but have a responsibility to reduce danger for pedestrians.

Other important changes include:

  • Rule H2 – Motorcyclists, drivers, horse riders, horse-drawn vehicles and cyclists need to give way to pedestrians if they’re waiting to cross or are crossing a junction. Additionally, on a zebra crossing, you must give way to pedestrians as well as pedestrians and cyclists on a parallel crossing. On shared-use cycle lanes, cyclists should also give way to pedestrians and horse riders when using bridleways. 
  • Rule H3 – Drivers and motorcyclists should not cut across horse riders, horse-drawn vehicles or cyclists when turning at a junction, changing direction or changing lane. You do not turn at a junction if it means they need to swerve or stop to avoid you. 

If you have questions about The Highway Code changes, please contact our team for legal advice that is completely free. You can do so 24/7 using the above details. 

Who Is Given Priority At Roundabouts And Junctions? 

This section will clarify how The Highway Code changes affect particular aspects of using the road. 

Priority On Roundabouts 

The Highway Code for roundabouts clarifies that cars and motorcycle riders need to prioritise cyclists when using roundabouts. Therefore, motorcyclists should stop and wait until there’s a safe gap when cyclists are travelling around a roundabout.

The Code already explained how cyclists, horse riders or people riding a horse-drawn vehicle should remain in the left-hand lane when using a roundabout. Additional emphasis has now been placed on drivers, stating they need to consider these types of road users when using a roundabout. This is all clarified in Rule 186 of the code. 

Pedestrians Waiting To Cross At A Junction

The Highway Code rules now state that pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross the road at a junction should be given priority. This means that other vehicles should give way regardless of if the pedestrian is waiting to cross or has already started crossing the road. 

Cyclists: Priority At Junctions 

The Highway Code changes have further adapted how cyclists should conduct themselves at junctions. When turning into or out of a side road, cyclists should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross the road. There are further changes made to The Highway Code for cyclists. 

Small cycle traffic lights are present at some junctions, encouraging cyclists to ride forward ahead of other vehicles. Additionally, when these are not present, the Code recommends that cyclists act in a similar fashion to driving a vehicle. With this, they should be riding in the centre of the lane to remain visible and avoid being overtaken. 

If you’re a cyclist and signs and markings are telling you to turn right at a junction, there is a two-stage system: 

  1. When the traffic lights are green, ride forward to the location marked by a cycle symbol and turn arrow in the road. 
  2. Wait until the traffic lights on the junction’s far side turn green. When they do this, you can now complete the manoeuvre. 

Furthermore, when cyclists are moving straight ahead at a junction, they have priority over traffic turning into or out of a junction unless specific road signs state otherwise. 

Who Is Given Priority In A Shared Space?

Routes and spaces shared by pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders are called shared spaces. The Highway Code changes stipulate that horse riders, cyclists and riders of a horse-drawn vehicle should be considerate of the pedestrians that use these spaces. Furthermore, people walking should not impede or obstruct vehicle riders. 

Cyclists are asked:

  • Not to pass a horse on its left-hand side.
  • Not to overtake anyone at high speed or when close to them. Ideally, plenty of room should be given when overtaking to mitigate the risk of injury. 
  • To slow down when required and make others using the shared space aware of their presence. For example, you could raise your voice or ring a bell. 
  • Be considerate that pedestrians may be blind, deaf or partially sighted. 

To ask further questions about The Highway Code changes or to see if you can claim after suffering an injury due to another road user’s negligence, please contact us for free using the above contact details. 

When Do Cyclists Get Priority Under The Highway Code Changes?

This section will explain how The Highway Code changes have affected cyclists on the road. We’ve already mentioned how the positioning of cyclists has changed. However, there are further amendments to consider:

  • Riding in the centre of the lane doesn’t just apply to junctions. This also should be the case when riding on quiet roads, when roads narrow and in slower-moving traffic. 
  • Keeping at least 0.5 metres away from the kerb’s edge when riding on busy roads if vehicles are travelling faster. They can also move further away from the kerb when it is safe to do so.  
  • Cycling groups should consider other road users and can now ride two abreast. This can be safer to do when the group includes children or less experienced riders. 
  • When driving a vehicle or motorcycle, they need to leave 1.5 metres when overtaking cyclists that are at speeds up to 30mph. They should also overtake at a greater distance when driving at a higher speed. 
  • People cycling can now pass stationary or slow-moving traffic on their right or left. However, they should do so with caution as the person they are overtaking may not be aware of their presence. 

What Could You Claim If Injured In A Traffic Accident?

You need to prove that another road user’s negligence caused your injury to receive compensation. With that in mind, there are two heads of claim you could potentially receive compensation through when making a personal injury claim. 

General damages are for the injury itself. You could suffer a physical or mental health injury due to the accident. This amount is based on many factors, such as the extent of the injury and whether any permanent symptoms were caused. 

The Judicial College analyses past compensation payouts for various injuries, comparing them to the extent of the injury. In doing this, they’ve created compensation brackets which you can see below. Please remember that this information only indicates what you could receive as every case is unique.    

Type of injury Severity Amount of Compensation Description
Ankle Severe £29,380 to £46,980 Injuries require an extensive treatment period and/or a lengthy period of time in plaster or where plates and pins have been inserted.
Knee Severe (ii) £48,920 to £65,440 Leg fracture that extends to the knee joint, leading to constant and permanent pain, which limits movement.
Hand Serious £27,220 to £58,100 The injury results in the hand being reduced to 50 per cent capacity. This could involve, for instance, several fingers being rejoined to the hand, resulting in the hand being clumsy and clawed.
Back Severe (ii) £69,600 to £82,980 This bracket is for back injuries with special features that result in them being more severe than injuries below this category. Symptoms can include nerve root damage and impaired mobility.
Neck Minor (ii) £2,300 to £4,080 This is for a minor soft tissue injury that takes between three months and a year to fully recover.
Eye Loss £51,460 to £61,690 This is for the total loss of one eye.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Severe £56,180 to £94,470 This injury will stop the injured person from being able to function anywhere near the pre-trauma level. All aspects of their life will be affected badly.
Brain Moderate (i) £140,870 to £205,580 Injuries in this bracket are for ones that cause an intellectual deficit of a moderate to severe level, with a personality change and a negative impact on sight and speech being other potential symptoms.
Wrist N/A £22,990 to £36,770 This is for an injury that causes a significant and permanent wrist disability.
Arm Severe £90,250 to £122,860 This is for arm injuries that fall short of amputation but are still extremely serious injuries to experience and recover from.

In order to prove general damages, you’d need to attend a medical assessment. An independent medical professional would assess your injuries and create a report that:

  1. Establishes whether your injuries are consistent with those that could be caused by the accident.
  2. Assesses the severity of your injuries.

The report could be used as evidence as well as a tool for valuing your injuries.

The financial losses caused by the injury can also be compensated through special damages. This could include claiming loss of earnings, travel costs, healthcare costs the NHS can’t cover or home adjustments caused by the injury. However, you would only be able to receive compensation for this if you also receive compensation for general damages. 

Start Your Traffic Accident Or Injury Claim

You may find it financially beneficial to claim using the services of a No Win No Fee personal injury solicitor from our panel. Under a No Win No Fee agreement, your solicitor’s fee is only paid when a settlement has been agreed upon at the end of the claim. They will take a small percentage as a success fee out of the compensation. However, by law that’s legally capped. T

This means that they won’t waste your time: they will only take your case if they feel you have a reasonably good chance of success. 

If you have any queries about The Highway Code changes or want to see if you could receive compensation, please contact our team of 24/7 advisors. They can be contacted for free and can inform you if you can claim and, if so, how much you could receive. Furthermore, they can connect you with our panel of solicitors who could work your case on a No Win No Fee basis. 

Contact us with the below details. 

Find Out More About The Highway Code Changes

For more useful information, please use the below links. 

You can find out more about the Highway Code changes here. 

If you are experiencing hip pain from the accident, you can find medical guidance on the NHS website. 

Read this article to learn what you can do if an uninsured driver has hit you. 

You may be wondering, “how long do you have to report a car accident?” If so, have a look at this article on our website to learn more. 

Read this article to see how you can make faulty traffic light accident and injury claims. 

Would you like to have answers to questions like, “what should I do if I get into a car accident?” If so, read this guide. 

Contact us using the above details to learn how you could claim if another road user’s negligence has injured you because they failed to adhere to the Highway Code changes. 

Writer XD

Checked by HT