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Mike Waters' blog: 12 October - Watch out, there's a pedestrian about

Date: 12 October 2015

Mike Waters is senior insight & consultancy manager at Arval, the leading vehicle leasing and fleet management company

It's been revealed that a massive 18,000 pedestrians were injured in accidents involving a vehicle in the last full year. It would be easy to assume that the driver is normally at fault but the statistics show that this isn't necessarily the case.

Pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users, so in a collision with a vehicle they are going to come of worst. However, that doesn't mean they are automatically faultless when an accident occurs.

Figures from a Freedom of Information request made by the Institute of Advanced Motorists asked for details of the most common pairs of contributory factors reported together by police attending the scene of an accident.

Police can record up to six from a list of 77 for each incident to explain why they think a crash happened.

Top of this list were 'pedestrian failed to look properly' with 'pedestrian careless, reckless or in a hurry'. Named as factors in 4,100 casualty accidents (or 23% of the overall total) this clearly puts them at number one.

Of course, the point here is not to allocate blame. Whether it's your fault or not, we all make mistakes and no one wants to see a pedestrian involved in an accident with a vehicle. The important thing this highlights is that all road users have an important role to play in road safety.

If you are behind the wheel you have a responsibility to drive safely, and to look out for the vulnerable people that you come across which will include cyclists and pedestrians. Likewise, next time you are travelling without the use of your vehicle, do drivers a favour and make sure not to make yourself a hazard.