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Update | Road traffic: apportioning liability to pedestrians

The courts are taking a more ?nuanced approach to apportioning?liability in road traffic accidents involving ?pedestrians, says Roger Cooper

31 May 2013

The impact of a vehicle with a pedestrian can have tragic consequences for the pedestrian even when the vehicle is travelling at a relatively low velocity at the point of impact. In 2011, 453 pedestrians were killed and 5,454 were seriously injured in road traffic accidents in the United Kingdom. The courts have long recognised that because of the disproportionate consequences to motorists and pedestrians respectively of collisions between vehicles and pedestrians, it is appropriate to demand a high standard from motorists by which they should be judged in claims for damages arising out of road traffic accidents. Certainly many pedestrians fail to take reasonable care and some are foolish or reckless but in apportioning the liability of the negligent motorist against the contributory negligence of a pedestrian, allowance must be made for the causative effect of the negligence of the motorist, who is in charge of potentially lethal equipment, as well as the respective culpability of ...

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