Hierarchy Of Road Users – Road Accident Claims

In this guide, we consider the new hierarchy of road users and other recent changes to The Highway Code. These new changes and rules came into force on the 29th of January, 2022. 

hierarchy of road users

The hierarchy of road users guide

These changes to The Highway Code mean that all road users no longer have an equal duty of care towards each other. This hierarchy has been created to accommodate road users that the government considers more vulnerable. This could potentially have an effect on liability in road traffic accident claims. 

Read on to find out more about these changes. You can also get in touch with our advisors at any time for free legal advice. If you would like to make a claim for compensation, our advisors could potentially pass you on to a solicitor from our panel.

To get in touch, you can: 

  • Call us on 020 3870 4868
  • Fill out our online claim form, and someone will get back to you
  • Message the live chat box at the bottom right of this page

Select A Section

  1. Changes To The Hierarchy Of Road Users
  2. Greater Protection For Vulnerable Road Users
  3. New And Updated Rules About The Hierarchy Of Road Users
  4. Vulnerable Road User Accident Compensation Calculator
  5. Talk To Us About Your Road User Accident Claim

Changes To The Hierarchy Of Road Users

As of the 29th of January, 2022, a number of changes were made to The Highway Code; we will look at 8 of these changes in this guide. They’ve been implemented following a public consultation on a review of The Highway Code to improve road safety for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. 

The new hierarchy of road users places those who would be at the highest risk of injury in a collision at the top. While road users of all types are still expected to behave responsibly, those with the potential to cause the greatest harm now have a greater responsibility towards more vulnerable road users. 

For more information on how these changes to the hierarchy of road users could affect your claim, speak with an advisor from our team. 

Greater Protection For Vulnerable Road Users

According to The Highway Code, some road users are more vulnerable than others. This includes cyclists, pedestrians, horse riders and motorcyclists. This is because they do not have the protection that cars and other motor vehicles do. 

It also states that it is important to be aware of adult and child pedestrians and cyclists, disabled people, learner and inexperienced drivers and riders, and the elderly in particular. 

There is a risk that pedestrians will step unexpectedly into the road, especially children or those who are distracted. This is why motor drivers should keep the safety of pedestrians in mind at all times when operating their vehicles. 

Cyclists and motorcyclists are vulnerable as they can be difficult to see, especially if they are behind traffic, coming out of junctions or filtering through lanes. Drivers should always make all the appropriate checks before manoeuvring, particularly when turning, changing direction, or changing lanes. 

Drivers should give horses a wide berth on the roads and move past slowly to avoid alarm. All horses should be treated as a potential hazard on the road. 

These road users are considered vulnerable because, in the event a collision occurs, they could potentially suffer more serious injuries.

Our team can offer more insight into how these changes to the hierarchy of road users could impact liability in road traffic accident claims. Get in touch for more information.

New And Updated Rules About The Hierarchy Of Road Users

There are 3 key H rules from The Highway Code that are important to understand. This section will look at these rules in more detail. 

About Rule H1 

All road users should have an awareness of The Highway Code. They should be attentive to the safety of other road users and understand that they are responsible for keeping themselves and others safe. 

Those in charge of certain vehicles have the potential to cause the greatest harm in the event of a collision. Therefore, they bear the most responsibility to reduce the risks for others. This applies mostly to LGVs, vans, minibuses, cars, taxis and motorcycles

Cyclists, horse riders and drivers of horse-drawn vehicles are responsible for reducing the risk of pedestrians being injured. Similarly, road users are asked to consider that some individuals they encounter may be hearing, sight or mobility impaired in a way that isn’t immediately obvious. 

However, it is important to note that all road users still have a duty to regard their own and others’ road safety, no matter their position in the hierarchy of road users. 

About Rule H2

If you are a driver turning into or out of a junction, you should give the right of way to any pedestrians waiting to cross. It’s a requirement to give way to people crossing a zebra crossing as well as cyclists. 

Horse riders should also give way to pedestrians waiting to cross at a zebra crossing and cyclists and pedestrians at a parallel crossing. 

Cyclists are expected to give way to pedestrians on cycle tracks that are shared between different kinds of road users and horse riders on bridleways. 

The only category of road users that are allowed to use the pavement is pedestrians. This includes mobility scooter and wheelchair users. 

Unless there are signs indicating otherwise, pedestrians may use any part of the road, cycle track or pavement. 

About Rule H3

As a driver or motorcyclist, you should not cut across horse riders, vehicles drawn by horses or cyclists when turning in or out of a junction, changing direction or changing lane. This applies whether they use a cycle lane or track or ride ahead on the road. 

You should wait for a safe space if necessary. This includes when cyclists travel around a roundabout or approach, pass or move on from a junction. 

If another road user has harmed you in a road traffic accident due to not adhering to these rules, it’s possible you could claim compensation. Get in touch with us today to find out more about how the new hierarchy of road users could affect your claim. 

Vulnerable Road User Accident Compensation Calculator 

This section looks at how much you could potentially receive in a road traffic accident claim. The table below looks at compensation amounts attached to various injuries that could be sustained in a road traffic accident. 

Legal professionals use the Judicial College Guidelines to help value general damages in claims. General damages is the compensation that takes into account the pain and suffering that your injuries have caused you. 

The compensation amounts listed in the  Judicial College Guidelines are calculated from previous compensation awards. This means they are not a guarantee for your specific claim. 

Injury Severity Amount Notes
Deafness (d) (iv) Around £11,000 Mild tinnitus or mild noise-induced hearing loss.
Leg Moderate £26,050 to £36,790 Severe crushing injuries or multiple and complicated fractures, generally to a single leg. There may also be muscle wasting, unsightly scarring and limited joint movement.
Ankle Severe £29,380 to £46,980 The injury will necessitate extensive treatment and/or time in plaster where pins and plates have been inserted. There will be a significant residual disability, with ankle instability and a limited walking capacity.
Hand Less Serious £13,570 to £27,220 A severe crush injury resulting in impaired function without future surgery or despite extensive treatment.
Knee Moderate (ii) Up to £12,900 Less serious dislocations, meniscus or torn cartilage. There will be minor instability, weakness, wasting or some other form of mild disability.
Nose (i) £9,990 to £21,700 Multiple or serious fractures that require a number of operations and result in permanent damage to nerves, tear ducts and airways. There will be difficulty breathing and a possible facial deformity.
Elbow Less Severe £14,690 to £30,050 The result will be an impairment of function. There will not be a need for major surgery, and there will be no significant disabilities.
Pelvis & Hip Lesser (i) £3,710 to £11,820 Despite significant injury, no residual disability remains.
Psychiatric Damage Severe £51,460 to £108,620 There will be significant issues with daily activities, relationships and ability to work. The prognosis for recovery will be poor.
Wrist (c) £11,820 to £22,990 Injuries, though less severe, will still result in some disability of a permanent nature.

Special damages is the other potential part of your compensation; this compensates you for specific financial costs incurred as a direct result of your injuries. You could prove this by showing receipts, invoices, payslips or bank statements. You can also claim for financial losses you may experience in the future. 

Special damages could include payments for:

  • Loss of earnings
  • Travel expenses
  • Property damage
  • The cost of adaptions to the home, if applicable
  • Medical expenses not covered by the NHS
  • The cost of independence supports, if applicable

For more information on what damages your compensation could consist of, or for further guidance on how the updated hierarchy of road users could affect liability in your claim, speak with one of our advisors today.

Talk To Us About Your Road User Accident Claim

If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a breach of duty of care, you could potentially claim; this is the case wherever on the hierarchy of road users you fall. The right road accident solicitor could make the process of making a claim easier than it would otherwise be. 

A No Win No Fee agreement is a way of funding legal representation that reduces the financial risk to you. If your case does not succeed and you don’t receive compensation, your solicitor will not require you to pay them. They also won’t charge you anything upfront or as the claim progresses. 

However, if you are awarded compensation, our solicitor will deduct a success fee from your compensation payout This fee is legally capped, meaning your solicitor cannot overcharge you, and you also get to keep the majority of your compensation. 

To find out more about No Win No Fee agreements, get in touch with our team of advisors. They can offer expert guidance about your case, with no obligation to start your claim just from speaking with us.

If you do want to start a claim, they could pass you on to a solicitor from our panel who could help you start a claim today. 

Get in touch using the details below:

Road Safety And Accident Claim Resources

Thank you for reading our guide about the new hierarchy of road users. We hope you found it useful. For further relevant resources, please see below. 

What Do You Need to Prove for Cycling Injury Claims? – Learn more about what evidence could help your cycling injury claim. 

How Often Do Personal Injury Claims Go To Court? – This guide aims to answer any questions about how often claims go to court. 

Faulty Traffic Light Accident and Injury Claims – If you were in a road accident caused by a faulty traffic light, learn how you could claim here. 

Road Traffic Act 1988 – This legislation details what counts as a driving offence. 

Road Accidents and Safety Statistics – Department for Transport statistics on recent road traffic accidents. 

Think! – The government’s official road safety campaign. 

Thank you for reading our guide on the new hierarchy of road users. 

Writer IR

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