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Vulnerable Road Users – ensure you take preventative measures

A key trend emerging in the commercial motor space is an unfortunate increase in accidents involving vulnerable road users.

Due to the nature of these claims, they are often complex with long life cycles and can have life-changing impacts for all involved.

Vulnerable Road User is a collective term used to describe groups such as pedestrians, cyclists, motor cyclists, horse riders, and more recently e-scooter riders.

Such road users are defined as vulnerable because they lack the physical impact protection and safety features that those within a vehicle benefit from.  They are also less visible to drivers, which increases their likelihood of being injured or killed if involved in a road traffic collision.  Vulnerable Road Users account for more than 50% of road accident fatalities.

Highway Code changes in January 2022 stated that those in charge of vehicles bear the greatest responsibility to take care and reduce the danger they cause to others. With vans and HGV’s at the top of this list, there is additional emphasis on the responsibility that sits with the drivers of these vehicles in maintaining safe practices on the roads – something that employers should ensure they communicatee to their staff.

Many people are also not aware of a new driving offence of ‘causing serious injury by careless driving’ that came into force in June 2022; this can result in up to 2 years imprisonment.

Any incident of this nature will not only be traumatic for those involved, but will also have an impact on insurance premiums following a large claim on your insurance policy. Many motor fleet insurers will now provide online driver training options for those that are interested.

Practical steps business owners can take to reduce the likelihood of a collision:

  • a thorough risk assessment to establish the hazards associated with driving for work, including how to protect Vulnerable Road Users
  • selecting the correct vehicle for your drivers, and giving consideration to technological advancements and improved safety features as they become available
  • identifying blind spots and assessing if additional mirrors, cameras or devices are required
  • in-vehicle cameras and scanning devices to minimise collisions with Vulnerable Road Users
  • driver awareness training on sharing the road space
  • actively monitoring driver behaviour using in-vehicle technology.

If you would like more information in the form of a full user guide which contains additional information, please contact our team at ProAktive.

By Helen Parsons – Commercial Broking Manager



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