Injury Prevention Week 2020
This week is Injury Prevention Week 2020 (17-21 August) - an awareness week hosted by APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers). The theme this year will focus on pedestrian safety, after research carried out by YouGov found worrying gaps in road safety knowledge among consumers.
The research revealed that 56% of non-drivers did not know that white lights indicate that a parked vehicle is about to start reversing.
“When walking behind a parked car everyone should be aware that it is about to reverse towards you when those white lights come on,” said Sam Elsby, president of APIL.
Other worrying responses to the survey question about how to know if a vehicle is about to reverse included:
- “Make eye contact with the driver”
- “Look for fogged up windows to know someone is in the vehicle”
- “Check the car’s wing mirrors”
- “The driver beeping their horn”
- “Using hazard lights”
“We’re focussing on pedestrian safety during this Injury Prevention Week because pedestrians account for more than a quarter of road deaths. And the very latest figures show that nearly 22,000 people on foot were killed or injured in the last year. That’s 60 people harmed just today,” said Sam.
“The number of pedestrian fatalities has remained broadly constant over the last ten years,” he added.
“There is a dedicated section of the Highway Code for pedestrians, but our survey also revealed that almost three quarters of UK adults who don’t drive said they have not read the rules, or couldn’t recall doing so,” he went on.
“Everyone has to play their part in avoiding needless injuries and deaths on our roads – including pedestrians.”
Green Cross Code
The other main focus of Injury Prevention Week 2020 is children's pedestrian safety and their knowledge of the Green Cross Code, this is particularly poignent as they start to return to school in September following easing of the nationwide lockdown and end of school summer holidays. Sam said:
“We also found that many parents are not confident about their children’s understanding of how to stay safe on the roads. As children prepare to head back to school we’re asking for the support of MPs to help press the importance of the Green Cross Code in their constituencies.”
Previously, the annual event has taken place over a day but has been extended to an entire week for 2020. Sam went on to say:
“We started Injury Prevention Day because we found that the Government always focusses on the wrong thing when it looks at personal injury and legal reform. The arguments are never about preventing needless harm in the first place. Let’s be honest, the Government’s work is often about restricting rights to redress after the harm has been done.”
APIL is running a series of stories in the press that focus on awareness and will be highlighting important safety messages to pedestrians on their social media channels throughout the week. Sam explained:
“At APIL we throw our energy into working towards a better world for injured people, but the simple fact is that the best thing would be for people not to be injured in the first place.That is why we are leading the way in the development of a national strategy for the prevention of needless injury.
“Avoiding unnecessary harm and suffering is a cornerstone of APIL’s work, and always has been.”
Pedestrians & cyclists most vulnerable
"We fully support APIL’s Injury Prevention awareness week. Pedestrians and cyclists are particularly vulnerable and, as we know too well, often suffer terrible life changing injuries. We should all do that we can to reduce the incidence."
Potter Rees Dolan currently act for a family of 5 siblings who lost their father when he sustained fatal injuries after being struck by a vehicle driven by a drunk driver who mounted the pavement, and collided with their father as he walked towards his home.
"This is a terribly sad case, most tragic and a reminder both of how vulnerable we are as pedestrians and the responsibilities we hold as drivers to take care for those on foot. This was an entirely avoidable accident caused by a wanton disregard for public safety by someone who had no respect for social responsibility. As a consequence a family are left without a father."