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 Road Safety Week – 19 to 25 November 2023 by Brake, the road safety charity
Personal injury claims

Road Safety Week – 19 to 25 November 2023 by Brake, the road safety charity



The aim of Road Safety Week is to share important road safety messages, remember people affected by road death and injury, and raise funds to help Brake care for more road victims and campaign for safe roads for everyone.

This year, Brake wants to raise awareness of speed and how even small increases in speed can result in greater numbers of accidents on our roads and more serious injuries for those involved in accidents.

Hierarchy of road users

The Highway Code was updated in early 2022 and now includes a hierarchy of road users who are considered more vulnerable than others. Pedestrians, children and passengers are amongst those considered to be vulnerable road users, with pedestrians positioned at the top of the hierarchy. The list clearly shows that road users who can travel at higher speeds are less likely to be vulnerable to road users who can travel at lower speeds.

The starkest comparison can be drawn between pedestrians and drivers of motor vehicles. Pedestrians have long been regarded as vulnerable road users in Scots law. The concept of causative potency places a higher burden on the driver of a motor vehicle to take reasonable care for a pedestrian than on a pedestrian to take reasonable care for the driver of a motor vehicle. A motor vehicle is a potentially dangerous weapon and is capable of causing more damage to a pedestrian than vice versa so naturally the driver of a motor vehicle has a greater responsibility to more vulnerable road users.

The changes to the Highway Code make it clear for road users that those driving vehicles who can cause the greatest harm bear the greatest responsibility to take care and reduce the danger they pose to others. Whether you are cycling, walking or driving, we all share a responsibility to be considerate of other road users and make our journeys as safe as possible.

Driving in the winter

With the drop in temperatures, changes in weather and fewer hours of daylight, winter inevitably brings an increase in road traffic accidents.  Therefore, it’s a good time of year to remind drivers take extra care on the roads.

The Highway Code contains information about the stopping distances for vehicles traveling at various speeds. In particular, it is worth pointing out that the distance required to stop a vehicle travelling at 30mph is almost double that of a vehicle travelling at 20mph.

Speed (mph) Thinking

distance (m)


distance (m)


distance (m)

Car lengths
20 6 6 12 3
30 9 14 23 6
40 12 24 36 9
50 15 38 53 13
60 18 55 73 18
70 21 75 96 24

The table shows the typical stopping distance for vehicles travelling on dry roads. In wet weather, stopping distances can be at least double those required for stopping on dry roads because tyres have less grip on the road surface.

At Harper Macleod, we see first-hand the heart-breaking consequences of road traffic accidents for all road users. We are here to support everyone through a road traffic accident claim.

If you would like to speak to one of our specialist personal injury lawyers, please contact us on 0800 904 7777 and we will be happy to speak to you on a no-win, no-fee basis. Alternatively, you could make an online enquiry about a personal injury claim through our website.


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Get in touch

Call us for free on 0330 159 5555 or complete our online form below to submit your enquiry or arrange a call back.