Road traffic regulations are not complete without discussing pedestrian safety. Other road users who aren’t necessarily using vehicles are at as much risk as drivers on the road. Although statistics show a 36% reduction in pedestrian fatality rates in the UK, much more can be done to reduce it further. Therefore, whenever you find yourself on the road as a pedestrian, here are some essential life-saving tips to be guided by.
- Be conversant with the UK’s bicycling regulations
If you are a cycling enthusiast, it would be useful to learn the basic rules the UK focuses on. For instance, when riding in the United Kingdom, you can use bus lanes only when the road signs permit it. In other words, if the road signs do not indicate using these restricted lanes, you will disregard highway codes for cyclists. As indicated in the first point, flashing lights on bicycles are permitted in the UK but only under certain conditions. For example, it specifically stipulates that only steady bicycle headlamps must be used in places without street lighting.
Furthermore, your bicycle must have white front lights and red rear lights installed. If you’re using amber pedal reflectors, the UK requires the brand to be created after October 1, 1985. This also means that buying your bicycle should conform to specifications declared from the same date. While all these may seem like a lot, the primary purpose is to increase your safety. Indeed, you can contact a bicycle accident lawyer in case of a mishap, but the first rule is to avoid being the cause of a road accident.
- Stay visible at all times
The possibility of causing a road accident greatly increases when you pop out of nowhere. It’s crucial to always be visible as a pedestrian to alert drivers and other road users of your presence. For example, runners are advised to wear brightly-coloured clothing to increase visibility and enhance their safety. Besides runners, cyclists, motor riders, etc., are also advised to wear reflective clothing at all times of the day.
This material is designed to bounce off light rays when exposed to the slightest illumination. This visual cue has been proven to alert drivers and other road users of your presence at least 100 metres away. It can be your footwear, clothing, or rucksack. For many bicycle riders, it is important to have flashing front and rear lights. Unlike other European countries where this is not allowed, the United Kingdom permits it.
- Avoid mobile or smart device distractions
Road safety reports indicate that now more than ever, pedestrians are distracted by their mobile phones. A 2019 poll revealed that 72% of Brits are guilty of this being on their phones while walking along the road. Unfortunately, the repercussions can be dire when a pedestrian is hit on the road. The report showed that people between the ages of 16 and 25 have an increased risk of getting hurt on the road because they often engage in distracted walking. The UK created the first ever slow lane for pedestrians to counter this worrying trend. While this seems to solve the problem to some extent, a better option is to remain attentive all the time as a pedestrian.