02 July 2024

2023 saw the number of pedestrian deaths on roads increase by 6%, some 407 pedestrians being killed compared to 385 the previous year. Statistics taken from the Department of Transport for the United Kingdom.

On top of those a further 18,749 pedestrians were injured, Department for Transport figures showing that the year-on-year increase is being driven by the rise in deaths of pedestrians aged under 16 and aged 60 and over.

Whilst the most common contributory factors for pedestrian accidents are failing to look properly, being careless, reckless or in a hurry and failing to judge a vehicle’s speed or path, it seems to me that, in order to fully comply with Rule H1 of the Highway Code, which states that road users need to be considerate and understand their responsibility for the safety of others, drivers ought to be thinking more about where they are leaving their cars, particularly in the vicinity of schools and in residential areas, to ensure that they are not causing an obstruction making the road dangerous for pedestrians and drivers alike.

Teaching road safety precautions to children does of course fall squarely into the remit of parents, first and foremost, and one of the first things parents should be teaching their children is that they, before they attempt to cross a road, should first find a safe place to do so. This should not be between parked cars and should always be within a space where drivers can see them clearly.

Because of the inconsiderate and thoughtless parking of some drivers, this very first step of crossing a road safely is often the hardest to achieve.

Whether drivers are new drivers who have to pass the written theory test before they can obtain their licence or not, all drivers should know and be following guidance included in the Highway Code about how and where to park their cars to ensure they are not posing a risk.

This guidance includes: -

  • Abiding by general road markings which dictate where you can and cannot stop or park – double yellow lines, for example, are not painted on roads just to make your walk from the car to the local shop to pick up one item longer than necessary. Double yellow lines mean no waiting at any time, unless there are signs that specifically indicate seasonal restrictions. You cannot excuse yourself by leaving your hazard lights on when you are away from the car.
  • Keeping areas marked with zigzag yellow lines outside schools clear of stationary vehicles, even if you are just picking up or setting down children..
  • Not parking on, or too close to, a pedestrian crossing.
  • Not parking on a bend.

Even if a child is under the supervision of their parent, and even though liability for injuring a pedestrian may well primarily fall to the driver who hits them, it cannot be guaranteed that, if the accident was partly caused by the obstruction that your parked vehicle was causing at the time, you would be completely in the clear.

Even if you were not implicated in the personal injury claim likely to be brought, could you really live with your decision to park on a corner because there was not anywhere closer to park and you would otherwise be late, or on double yellow lines because you would only be in the shop for two minutes, in the face of serious injury or worse death having been caused to a young child?

Children are taught to “Stop, Look, Listen and Think” before crossing the road. It would be wise to do the same when parking and leaving your car.

If you or your child are unfortunate enough to be injured or worse whilst you are a pedestrian, then you may have the grounds for a personal injury claim. Battens can help. Please contact Kate Golding, Head of Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence – Tel: 01935 846072 or Email: for bespoke advice and guidance on your options.