Pedestrians, children and passengers involved in road traffic accidents
Pedestrians, children and passengers involved in road traffic accidents

The following PI & Clinical Negligence guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Pedestrians, children and passengers involved in road traffic accidents
  • Pedestrians
  • Children
  • Passengers

Certain categories of claimant are considered more vulnerable than others. Included in this category are:

  1. pedestrians

  2. children

  3. passengers

Pedestrians

Guidance for pedestrians is contained in the Highway Code, rr 1–35. Rule 7 repeats the Green Cross Code.

Since drivers are in charge of potentially lethal machinery, there is a high burden on them to maintain observations of the road ahead of them. In contrast, a pedestrian goes at a speed at which they would rarely be a danger to anyone, and has to look to both sides, as well as forwards. In Baker, neither the claimant nor the defendant had seen the other despite the fact that they would have been able to do so for at least 200 yards. The House of Lords overruled the Court of Appeal and restored the trial judge’s division of liability, which was 25/75 in the pedestrian’s favour.

No blame attaches to a pedestrian who walks close to the edge of a footway. In Chapman v Post Office [1982] RTR 165 CA (not reported by LexisNexis®), Lord Denning MR went so far as to say that liability may not attach to a pedestrian who 'went an inch or two into the roadway.' Even if that (being obiter) does not fully reflect the law, it appears that if a pedestrian produces a valid explanation for leaving the