The Highway Code New Rules Explained – When Could You Claim For A Road Accident?

Highway Code new rules

Highway Code new rules guide

Are you wondering how the Highway Code new rules could affect you? These changes come into force on 29th January 2022 and may impact how liability is determined in a road traffic accident.

You may also want guidance on the new Whiplash Reform Programme and how this has altered the way in which most claims are processed. In this article, we look at the new claims portal and how the way lower-valued road traffic accident claims are made.

Our panel of personal injury solicitors can help you with any questions you might have. Get in touch with an advisor today by:

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Select A Section

  1. What Are The Highway Code New Rules?
  2. New Rules At Junctions
  3. Pedestrians Are Given Greater Priority
  4. Summary Of The Highway Code New Rules For 2022
  5. Highway And Road Accident Calculator
  6. Get In Touch With Our Team

What Are The Highway Code New Rules?

The introduction to the Highway Code has been updated, and now goes into greater detail about the hierarchy of road users. It states that those who have the potential to cause the greatest harm have more of a responsibility to protect more vulnerable road users.

These new rules do not affect the current obligation for all road users to be careful, to be aware of the Highway Code and to correctly understand their responsibility for the safety of others. All road users are still expected to act in a way that reduces the risk of injury to themselves and others.

In addition to this elaboration in the introduction of the Highway Code, some new rules have been introduced relating to priorities at junctions, stopping and waiting and other scenarios.

Contact our advisors today to find out how the Highway Code new rules could affect your eligibility to claim for injuries resulting from negligence.

New Rules At Junctions

Junctions can be a potentially dangerous aspect of the road. As well as pedestrians crossing the road at junctions, vehicles may wish to turn into or out of roads which could pose a hazard.

Below, we have included a list of some of the Highway Code new rules that have been introduced in relation to junctions.

  • Other traffic should give way to people who are crossing or waiting to cross at a junction
  • The traffic should give way to people who have started to cross a road they wish to turn into
  • Road users driving, cycling, or riding a motorcycle must give way to pedestrians on a zebra crossing
  • Give way to people cycling and walking on a parallel crossing (parallel crossings are much like zebra crossings, but parallel crossings have a cycle route beside the black and white stripes).

Pedestrians Are Given Greater Priority

People who are cycling, riding a horse or driving a horse-drawn vehicle should continue to respect the safety of any other people walking in these spaces. It’s important to note that people walking should also take appropriate care not to obstruct or endanger others in return.

Some rules that have been introduced to cyclists in shared spaces include:

  • Not passing pedestrians or those riding horses closely or at high speed, especially from behind.
  • Travelling slowly when required and alerting other road users of their presence (for example, by ringing the bell).
  • Be aware that some people walking on shared paths may be blind, partially sighted or deaf.

To learn more about how your claim might be affected by the new Highway Code rules, get in touch today.

Summary Of The Highway Code New Rules For 2022

The changes to the Highway Code has resulted in many rules being updated and some new rules being introduced. A summary of the new Highway Code Rules rules is as follows:

  • New Rule H1 covers the hierarchy of road users. Previously, it was the case that all road users owed one another an equal duty of care. Now, those with the greatest potential to cause harm have the greatest responsibility to protect those at a greater risk.
  • New Rule H2 outlines the priority that pedestrians have at junctions. Drivers must give way to pedestrians crossing a pedestrian crossing, and should give way to them when they’re waiting to cross.
  • New Rule 3 places a greater expectation on drivers to prioritize cyclists when they are at junctions, turning or changing lanes in the same way they would other motorists. Drivers should not cut across the identified groups but should stop and wait for a safe gap in the flow of cyclists.

Dutch Reach Method

In addition to this, the new guidance recommends the Dutch Reach method for opening vehicle doors. This is a practice for both drivers and passengers as opposed to opening doors with the closest hand, the far hand is used. In doing so, it forces the car occupant to turn around, enabling them to check for approaching vehicles.

Opening a car door in this way can limit collisions with cyclists. Cyclist claims against a motorist could be made if you were hit by a car door as a result of negligence.

The Whiplash Reform Programme

From 31st May 2021, new whiplash claim rules were made, changing the way that low-value personal injury claims are made. They must now be processed through an online government portal.

These new rules apply if you:

  • Were involved in an accident on or after 31 May 2021
  • Suffered a soft tissue injury as a driver or a passenger over the age of 18
  • Sustain injuries that are worth less than £5,000 and the total value of the claim including repairs or personal item damages is less than £10,000

Claims for cycle accidents, motorcycle accidents and pedestrian accidents are not affected by the Whiplash Reforms Program and do not need processing via the portal.

For more information about making a road traffic accident claim under the Highway Code new rules, contact our advisors today.

Highway And Road Accident Calculator

As a pedestrian, cyclist, or driver who has been hurt by the negligence of another road user, you may be able to claim compensation.  The compensation you receive will include general damages, which is the part of your compensation that covers your injuries.

If you choose to work with a No Win No Fee personal injury solicitor, they can help arrange for an independent medical appointment to assess your injuries. The findings of this examination can be used to compare your injuries with those listed in a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines.

These guidelines contain compensation brackets based on previous awards. We have included some extracts from these guidelines below:

Area of InjurySeverityCompensation BracketNotes
HeadLess severe brain damage£14,380 to £40,410Overall good recovery and full return to normal life but with some minor remaining issues with poor memory or concentration.
ShoulderSerious£11,980 to £18,020Shoulder dislocation and examples of nerve damage to the brachial plexus with issues that may persist after surgery.
WristLess severe (c)£11,820 to £22,990Injuries that leave some permanent disability and a permanent degree of stiffness and pain.
BackModerate (b) (ii) £11,730 to £26,050Disturbed ligaments and muscles, causing backache. Soft tissue injuries that may exacerbate previous conditions.
KneeModerate (b) (i)£13,920 to £24,580Tears to the cartilage or meniscus that causes weakness, instability and risk of future disability.
LegVery serious (ii)£51,460 to £85,600Serious injury that creates life-long dependency on walking aids despite surgery. Greater risk of deformity and later life arthritis.
FootSevere (d) £39,390 to £65,710Extreme examples of injury to one foot can be included here. De-gloving, heel fusion and the need for surgery can all come under this bracket.
Psychiatric harmModerate (c)£7,680 to £21,730The person will have recovered in the main, some slight anxiety issues persisting.
Pelvis/hipsSevere (ii) £58,100 to £73,580For example, fractures resulting in impotence or traumatic myositis ossificans that result in ectopic bone forming around the hip.
Elbow Less severe £14,690 to £30,050Where function was impaired but major surgery not needed and no significant disability.

You could also receive special damages as part of your claim, which compensates you for any financial losses you incur because of your injuries, such as:

  • The costs of expensive medical treatments not available on the NHS (scar treatment or counselling)
  • The cost of replacement to property
  • Reimbursements for lost income or money lost because you had to take time off work
  • Physiotherapy costs
  • Travel expenses to work or hospital appointments
  • Adaptations that you needed to make to your home after the accident such as wheelchair access etc

It’s important to remember that personal injury claims can only be made once. With this in mind, it’s important to think ahead about future costs that may arise.

For a free estimation of what your compensation claim could be worth, or for more information on the Highway Code new rules, talk to our advisors today.

Get In Touch With Our Team

As we’ve already mentioned, there is a range of benefits to working with a solicitor in your claim. They can help you collect evidence and arrange a medical appointment for you. However, you might be concerned at the prospect of paying large legal fees to secure their services.

If this is the case, a No Win No Fee agreement could benefit you. This is an agreement whereby your solicitor will not ask you to pay them if the claim is not a success. They also won’t ask for any upfront or ongoing fees.

In the event that you’re successful in your claim, a small success fee will be taken off your compensation award by your solicitor. This success fee’s legal cap will ensure that you get the majority of the amount awarded.

Start your car crash claim today. Contact our advisors by:

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Article by EA

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