This blog was prepared by Ellis Meade, Trainee Solicitor in the Neurolaw team.
The Child Brain Injury Trust (CBIT) was founded in 1991 in the Oxford Radcliffe Hospital and throughout its 30-year history it has provided invaluable support to children and families affected by brain injuries across the UK. The Hugh James Neurolaw Team are extremely enthusiastic to provide continued support to CBIT as part of GloWeek, in the form of an annual donation to the Trust.
What is GloWeek?
GloWeek is organised by the Child Brain Injury Trust and seeks to “highlight road safety”. Throughout the week, schools and organisations are encouraged to hold safety sessions, raising awareness of the need to “Be Seen, Not Hurt” as pedestrians and cyclists.
The safety of our roads is of paramount importance. If we are able to implement effective and thorough strategies which improve road safety, the number of children and adults who are sadly killed or injured on the road will be significantly reduced. Although significant attempts have been made to improve road safety in the last few decades, more undoubtedly needs to be done if we are to make the roads a safe place. With the climate crisis becoming more apparent, road safety will be more important than ever before, as we increasingly turn to more sustainable methods of travel, such as cycling and walking.
The road safety charity ‘Brake’ reports that in 2019, there were a total of 6531 casualties involving pedestrians and pedal cyclists in 2019. Children under the age of 16 are extremely vulnerable to accidents on the road. A study by the Department of Transport in 2015 highlighted that children were particularly vulnerable to harm whilst on their way home from school, with 58% of child casualties occurring between 3pm and 7pm in 2013. A large proportion of accidents involving both children and cyclists are caused by poor visibility and dark conditions which become even more prevalent during the winter months. Bright and colourful clothing can therefore play a crucial role in ensuring that pedestrians are visible to all road users. Reflective armbands and reflective strips have often been cited as an effective way to illuminate children and enhance their safety. During GloWeek and beyond the Child Brain Injury Trust are stressing the importance of ditching your dark clothing and putting on your glowing attire. This year, GloWeek falls during Halloween, so they are expecting some additional spookiness to the outfits.
Effective ways to keep children safe on the roads
- Know your signals – Education is key. It is of utmost importance that children are aware from a young age of what traffic lights and signs mean, and what each colour indicates.
- Stop, look and listen – Always look to both the right and left, waiting for any vehicles to fully pass, whilst listening out for other vehicles which may not yet be visible. Listen out for engines, horns and tyres.
- Hold hands with an adult if possible!
- Use pedestrian crossings – if available, pedestrian crossings provide the safest way for pedestrians of all ages to cross.
- Avoid the use of electronic devices – in recent years the usage of such devices amongst children has increased significantly. They provide a distraction and place children at risk on our roads.
- Use pavements – All pedestrians should use pavements wherever possible as they provide the safest passage, walking on roads should be avoided and only occur as a last resort.
- Do not cross between parked cars – parked cars considerably reduce the visibility of pedestrians, giving vehicles less chance to react when a someone enters the road.
- Be VISIBLE – This cannot be understated, and we hope that the increased visibility during GloWeek will remain apparent in the future!
Hugh James’ specialist Neurolaw department represents many pedestrians and cyclists who have sadly been injured in road traffic collisions. Visit our website for more information about making a claim for compensation following an accident.
Hugh James are pleased to continue to support the Child Brain Injury Trust and a donation has been made in respect of this worthwhile cause. We work closely with charities such as Child Brain Injury Trust, Headway, The Silverlining, Spinal Injuries Association, Rookwood Spur, Horatio’s Garden, Brake and Roadpeace which all provide incredible support to individuals and families after life changing injuries