What Are The Changes To The Highway Code For Pedestrians – When Could I Claim Compensation?

On the 29th of January, 2022, the government introduced new rules to The Highway Code for pedestrians and other road users. There is now a road user hierarchy, and it is important for all road users to be familiar with these changes. 

highway code for pedestrians

A guide about The Highway Code for pedestrians

The hierarchy of road users has now been changed to reflect that the government considers some road users more vulnerable in the event of a road traffic accident. This includes pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. All road users should still be using care and skill to reduce the risk of accidents occurring at all. 

It is important to note that there is a difference in The Highway Code between ‘should’ and ‘must’. If a ‘must’ guideline is not followed, this could be due to legislation. The same does not apply to ‘should’ rules, but if you do not adhere to them, you could still be held liable in a claim for any damage caused. 

Keep reading to find out more about changes to The Highway Code for pedestrians. You can also get in touch with us at any time. Our team of advisors are available to offer you free legal guidance. If you are eligible to start a road traffic accident claim, they can pass you on to a solicitor from our panel who can help you. 

Select A Section

  1. How Is The Highway Code For Pedestrians Changing?
  2. Who Has Right Of Way When Pedestrians Are Waiting To Cross Or Are Crossing?
  3. Highway Code For Pedestrians In A Shared Space
  4. Other Highway Code Changes You Need To Know About
  5. Calculating Pedestrian Accident And Injury Claims
  6. Contact Us To Make A No Win No Fee Pedestrian Injury Claim 

How Is The Highway Code For Pedestrians Changing?

All road users have a duty of care under The Highway Code. They should use the roads with standard care and skill. 

However, recent changes mean that those in control of vehicles that can cause the greatest harm (such as lorries or cars) have the most responsibility to take care. Horse riders and cyclists would, therefore, have a responsibility to reduce the danger they pose to pedestrians.

If there is an accident, a pedestrian is more likely to be seriously hurt. This is why other road users are now expected to take extra care around them. However, pedestrians are still expected to behave in a way that reduces the risk of accidents and harm. 

There have also been some changes to The Highway Code for pedestrians’ right of way. This will be covered in the next few sections of this article. 

Who Has Right Of Way When Pedestrians Are Waiting To Cross Or Are Crossing? 

Due to the recent changes, pedestrians now have the right of way when using a zebra crossing, parallel crossings and at junctions. 

You can find this change specifically in Rule H2, which applies to cyclists, horse riders, drivers, motorcyclists and drivers of horse-drawn vehicles. 

If pedestrians are waiting to cross at a junction, you should give them the right of way, whether you are turning into or out of the junction. 

Other road users must give way to pedestrians on a zebra crossing. Cyclists are another vulnerable road user group and, as such, should be given the right of way by other road user groups on parallel crossings, along with pedestrians. Vehicles should give way to pedestrians or cyclists waiting to cross these crossings. 

Pedestrians are also a priority on a zebra crossing, parallel crossing or light controlled crossing when there is a green signal. 

As a pedestrian, you should give traffic plenty of time to see you and stop before you start to cross. Wait until all traffic has come to a complete stop before crossing. If there is an island in the middle of the crossing, wait there before crossing the second half. 

To find out more about changes to The Highway Code for pedestrians, get in touch with us at any time. 

 Highway Code For Pedestrians In A Shared Space

The third new rule of The Highway Code focuses on cycling, walking or riding in shared spaces. This applies to routes and spaces shared by pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. 

This rule states that those cycling, riding a horse or driving a horse-drawn vehicle should respect the safety of pedestrians in these spaces. However, those walking should also be careful not to endanger or obstruct them. 

Cyclists are asked to:

  • Not pass on the left of a horse
  • Cycle slowly if necessary and make sure other road users know they are there 
  • Not pass walkers, horse riders or horse-drawn vehicles at speed, especially from behind
  • Keep in mind that pedestrians could be partially sighted, blind or deaf

Other Highway Code Changes You Need To Know About

Some other rules in The Highway Code for pedestrians have also been updated. Some of the general guidance includes:

  • Pavements should be used, if provided
  • Look both ways before stepping into the road
  • If no pavement is provided, keep to the right side of the road so you can see oncoming traffic. Keep close to the side of the road
  • Help other road users see you by wearing something bright or fluorescent in poor daylight conditions. Wear reflective materials in the dark.
  • Young children should not be out alone on the pavement or road.
  • Pedestrians must not be on motorways or slip roads unless it is an emergency.

Rules for situations needing extra care:

  • If an emergency vehicle is approaching using flashing lights and/or sirens, keep off the road.
  • Only get on/off a bus when it has stopped to allow you to do so. Watch out for cyclists as you do so.
  • Never cross the road directly behind or in front of a bus.
  • Treat trams as other vehicles and always look both ways along the track before crossing.
  • Do not walk along tram tracks.
  • You must not cross a railway level crossing when the red lights show/an alarm sounds/barriers lower.

Calculating Pedestrian Accident And Injury Claims

In a personal injury claim, you can claim general damages compensation for the suffering you have experienced as a result of your injury.

Also, you could claim special damages for any financial losses directly resulting from the accident or your injury.

The table of figures in this section lists potential compensation amounts you could receive as a general damages payout in a road traffic accident claim. 

Each case is judged individually according to the circumstances, so these figures are not guaranteed. Legal professionals use the Judicial College Guidelines to estimate how much someone could receive in general damages.

However, you may need to attend an independent medical appointment as part of the claims process. A solicitor from our panel could arrange for this to be in your area, to reduce travel time. A medical professional would assess your injuries and consider how they may affect your future. This will be key in evaluating how much you could actually receive. 

Injury Severity Amount Notes
Cheekbone Fracture (i) £9,570 to £14,810 The fractures will be serious and require surgery. There will be lasting consequences, such as paraesthesia in the cheeks or lips and some form of disfigurement.
Jaw Fracture (iii) £6,060 to £8,200 A simple fracture that requires immobilization but recovery will be complete.
Skeletal Injuries Multiple Fractures of Facial Bones £13,970 to £22,470 There will be multiple fractures with the consequence being some form of permanent facial deformity.
Hand Total or Effective Loss of Both Hands £132,040 to £189,110 Both hands will be totally or effectively lost and little more than useless.
Elbow Moderate/Minor Up to £11,820 This could include lacerations or simple fractures. This bracket is for injuries that don’t cause impairment of function or permanent damage.
Scarring Scarring £2,220 to £7,350 Several superficial scars or a single noticeable scar on the legs, arms or hands with some minor cosmetic issues.
Head/Brain Minor £2,070 to £11,980 If brain damage is present with the head injury, it will be minor.
Knee Severe (i) £65,440 to £90,290 There could be gross ligament damage, a serious disruption of the joint or the development of osteoarthritis. There will be a need for lengthy treatment resulting in a loss of function and considerable pain.
Neck Minor (i) £4,080 to £7,410 Minor soft tissue injuries. Full recovery will have occurred within 3 months – 1 year. Bracket could also cover short term exacerbation and/or acceleration of injuries lasting 1-2 years.
Leg Less Serious (i) £16,860 to £26,050 Serious soft tissue injuries to one or both legs with serious cosmetic deficit and functional restriction. Or fractures where an incomplete recovery is made. There will remain a metal implant and/or a limp, impaired mobility and sensory loss.

If you wish to claim special damages, you need to prove that your losses were caused by your accident or subsequent injuries. For example, if you wanted to prove that your property had been damaged, you could take pictures of the damage. Or, if you needed to pay for an easy-access shower installed into your home due to a related disability, you could provide an invoice of the costs. 

You could also claim for possible future losses you may experience. For example, if you needed to take time off work to recover, you could potentially demonstrate your projected future loss of earnings with your payslip or recent bank statements. 

Other examples of what you could claim in special damages:

  • Travel costs
  • Medical expenses not covered by the NHS
  • The price of independence aids, such as crutches

Contact Us To Make A No Win No Fee Pedestrian Injury Claim

If you’ve been injured in a road traffic accident, you may want to seek legal representation. However, you may be concerned about the costs of hiring a lawyer. A No Win No Fee agreement could benefit you if this is the case. 

In a No Win No Fee agreement, your solicitor takes on the financial risk of the claim. You won’t have to pay them their fee upfront or during your case. If you don’t win your case, your solicitor will not be paid by you at all. 

A success fee is what your solicitor deducts from your compensation amount as payment if your case succeeds. However, a legal cap on the success fee means that you keep most of your compensation. 

If a No Win No Fee agreement sounds financially beneficial to you, you can get in touch with our advisors at any time to find out more. They can explain these agreements in more detail and could potentially pass you on to a solicitor from our panel if they think your case has a good chance of success. 

Related Highway Code For Pedestrians Resources And Accident Claim Resources

Thank you for reading our guide about the changes to The Highway Code for pedestrians. We hope you found it helpful. For related resources, please see below. 

Car Accident Claims – If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you could be eligible to claim compensation. Find out how in this guide. 

What To Do If a Whiplash Claim is Refused – If your whiplash claim is unsuccessful, find out what you can do next. 

Broken Cheekbone Compensation – Have you broken your cheekbone in a road traffic accident? Our article can explain how to claim. 

The Highway Code – This is The Highway Code in full. 

Whiplash – An NHS guide on what whiplash is and how it may be treated. 

Whiplash Reform Programme – If your injury is valued under £5,000, you may need to claim through the Whiplash Reform Programme. Find out more here. 

Should you need any advice on changes to the Highway Code for pedestrians, get in touch today. 

Writer IR

Checked by HT