What Is The New Hierarchy Of Road Users?

This is a guide on the new hierarchy of road users implemented via recent changes to The Highway Code. These new rules are effective as of the 29th of January, 2022. 

Hierarchy of road users

Hierarchy of road users guide

Before these changes, all road users owed one another an equal duty of care. Now, road users that are considered less vulnerable have a greater duty of care than those who are more vulnerable. However, this does not change any road users obligation to ensure the safety of other road users. 

These changes could affect some road traffic accident claims, as it changes some rules about how motorists should act in certain situations. This could make a difference in who is considered liable for compensation in a claim. 

Keep reading to find out more about the new hierarchy. If you would like to move towards starting a claim, you can get in touch with our advisors at any time.

They can offer free legal advice and with no attached obligations to start a claim. If you decide you would like to start a claim, they could connect you with a solicitor from our panel if they think you have a good chance of success. 

To get in touch, you can:

Select A Section

  1. What Is The New Hierarchy Of Road Users?
  2. Which Road Users Are More Vulnerable?
  3. The New H Rules
  4. Motor Vehicle Accident And Injury Claims Calculator
  5. Talk To Us About Your Road User Accident Claim
  6. Learn More About The Hierarchy Of Road Users

What Is The New Hierarchy Of Road Users?

The government introduced 8 key changes to The Highway Code on the 29th of January, 2022 after a public consultation. These new rules are intended to improve safety for road users such as cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders. 

The purpose of the new hierarchy of road users is to prioritise the safety of vulnerable road user groups. However, this does not erase the need of all road users to behave responsibly. The new hierarchy works as such:

  • Pedestrians
  • Cyclists
  • Horse riders
  • Motorcyclists
  • Cars
  • Van & Minibuses
  • Buses & HGV’s

For more information on how these changes to the hierarchy of road users could affect personal injury claims, please speak with one of our advisors today. You could be connected with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel.

Which Road Users Are More Vulnerable?

The Highway Code indicates that some road users are more vulnerable than others. This is because some road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists, do not have the protection that car or lorry drivers do. 

Amongst these vulnerable road user groups are further subsections of vulnerable people that drivers should be aware of. This includes disabled people, old people, children and inexperienced or learner drivers. 

Pedestrians could step into the road without paying attention. This is why vehicle drivers should always keep the safety of pedestrians in mind and be aware of them at all times. If your child was hit by a car because of the negligence of a driver, they could be entitled to compensation. 

Motorcycle riders and cyclists are considered more vulnerable than drivers, as they can sometimes be difficult to see in traffic. If they are moving in and out of lanes or coming out of junctions, it may also be difficult for a motorist to spot them. 

Horses can startle easily, which is why those riding horses are higher on the hierarchy of road users. Drivers should give them space on the roads and drive past slowly. Horses should be treated as a potential hazard. 

If a collision occurred, the road users discussed above could come to serious harm. Hence, they are considered more vulnerable than other road user groups. However, this does not negate the responsibility that all road users have to consider the safety of others while on the road. 

If you have been injured in a road traffic accident, you could potentially claim compensation for any damage. This is the same whether you’re a learner driver claiming against another driver or a cyclist claiming against a motorist. Contact us today to find out more about the new hierarchy of road users. 

The New H Rules

Amongst the new rules in The Highway Code are 3 H rules that are integral for all road users to understand. This section looks at these new rules in detail and explains how they could affect you. 

Rule H1

All road users should be considerate to other users, understand their responsibilities for keeping others safe, and be knowledgeable on The Highway Code. 

Those at the bottom of the hierarchy, such as vans, HGV’s, minibuses, cars and LGV’s have the most responsibility towards other road users. This is because they have the highest potential to cause harm to others. 

Due to their position on the hierarchy, horse riders, drivers of horse-drawn vehicles and cyclists should act in a way that reduces the risk of harm to pedestrians. 

Regardless of their position in the hierarchy, all road users still have a duty of care to others’ road safety and should behave in a way that reduces the risk of injury to themselves and others.  

Rule H2

If you are in a vehicle and want to turn into or out of a junction, pedestrians waiting to cross should have right of way. Pedestrians waiting at a zebra or parallel crossing must also get the right of way.

Cyclists can also use parallel crossings and must get right of way over road users lower in the new hierarchy of road users. Vehicle drivers and horse riders should stop and wait for the pedestrian or cyclist to reach the other side completely before continuing. 

Only pedestrians, wheelchair users and those using mobility scooters can use the pavement to travel. However, unless there are signs specifically saying otherwise, pedestrians may use any part of the road, pavement or shared cycle track. 

Rule H3

This rule applies to drivers and motorbike riders. Vehicle drivers or motorcyclists should not cut across cyclists, horse riders or horse-drawn vehicles at junctions, when changing lanes or when changing direction. This applies whether they’re on a cycle lane, on the road or using a cycle track. 

If you’ve been injured in a road traffic accident and would like to make a claim, you could potentially hire a solicitor from our panel to help you. Contact our advisors today to find out more. 

Motor Vehicle Accident And Injury Claims Calculator 

This section includes a compensation table of potential amounts you could receive for your injuries in a road traffic accident claim. Each case is assessed individually, and you may have multiple injuries, so these figures are not assured.

The part of your compensation that relates to your injuries is referred to as general damages. Special damages is the part of your claim that relates to any financial losses you incur because of your injuries. 

The figures shown in the table are taken from the Judicial College Guidelines; legal professionals use this document to help value the consequences of your injury. 

As part of the claims process, you will be invited to attend a medical appointment. A medical professional will assess your injuries and confirm that they’re consistent with the accident you were involved in. The results of this assessment will be key in evaluating your claim. 

Injury Severity Amount Notes
Death (D) £1,290 to £2,620 The injury will result in immediate unconsciousness. Death will occur within a week.
Ankle Modest Up to £12,900 Ligament injuries, sprains and undisplaced or minor fractures. There may be scarring, aching, loss of movement and discomfort.
Pelvis & Hip Severe (ii) £58,100 to £73,580 Less serious fractures or other hip injury that results in some form of lasting disability.
Shoulder Serious £11,980 to £18,020 Where the lower part of the brachial plexus is injured and dislocation of the shoulder that causes pain in this area plus the neck. Other symptoms could include an aching in the elbow, weakness of grip and sensory symptoms in the forearm. This will lead to restricted shoulder movement. Soft tissue injuries with intrusive symptoms and rotator cuff injuries could also fit into this bracket.
Cheekbone (ii) £4,080 to £6,060 Simple fracture of the cheekbones. Some reconstructive surgery may be necessary, but there will be a complete recovery with none or minor cosmetic effects.
Elbow (A) £36,770 to £51,460 A severely disabling injury.
Arm (D) £6,190 to £18,020 Simple fractures of the forearm.
Chest (G) Up to £3,710 Rib fractures or soft tissue injuries. The result will be serious disability and pain over a period of weeks.
Knee Severe (i) £65,440 to £90,290 Serious knee injury such as the development of osteoarthritis, ligament damage or disruption of the joint. There will be lengthy treatment, loss of function and considerable pain.
Thumb Moderate £9,080 to £11,820

Where tendons or nerves are damaged as the result of injuries. Sensation will be permanently impaired and the thumb will be cosmetically deformed.

Special Damages

You may be forced to pay unexpected expenses due to your accident or injury. For example, you may need to pay for medical treatments that are not covered by the NHS or for property damage. If you could prove that your financial losses directly resulted from your accident or injury, you could claim these costs back in special damages

If your injury is likely to continue affecting you and your finances, you could also claim for calculable expenses of the future. For example, if your injury has caused you to need time away from work, you may experience a loss of earnings, which may continue throughout your recovery. In some cases, your injuries might mean that you’re unable to return to work at all. 

Get in touch with us today for more details on what you could claim. If you have a valid claim, you could be connected with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel to represent you. 

Talk To Us About Your Road User Accident Claim

Hopefully, you now feel like you understand a little more about the new hierarchy of road users. However, accidents can still happen despite these changes, and people may be hurt.

If you’re a vulnerable road user and have been injured in an accident caused by negligence, you could be entitled to compensation. You could also claim if you’re a road user who is not vulnerable, but where your accident was caused by a road user lower on the hierarchy. For example, if you’re an HGV driver injured in a rear-end collision because a car failed to leave a safe stopping distance, you could claim. 

You do not need a solicitor to help you start a claim, but we recommend hiring one. The solicitors on our panel have years of experience in claims of all kinds and could offer you their services on a No Win No Fee basis. 

What could a No Win No Fee agreement mean for you? 

  • No upfront or ongoing costs out of pocket
  • Your solicitor deducts a legally capped success fee if the case succeeds
  • Your solicitor does not require payment at all if the case fails

If this sounds like an appealing arrangement to you, why not get in touch with us now? Our expert advisors can offer free legal advice about your claim. They could also pass you on to a solicitor from our panel if they think your claim has a good chance of success. 

To get in touch, you can:

Learn More About The Hierarchy Of Road Users 

Thank you for reading our guide about the new hierarchy of road users. We hope it answered any of your questions. To learn more, please see below. 

Motorcycle Injury Lawyers – A guide on finding the best motorcycle injury lawyer for your claim. 

Cycling Accidents – If you’ve been involved in a cycling accident, our guide can help you learn how to claim. 

How Long After a Road Traffic Accident Do You Have to Claim? – Learn more about the time limitations attached to a road traffic accident claim. 

Brake – A charity aiming to help victims of road traffic accidents. 

Department for Transport – The homepage of the government’s regulator on Britain’s transport. 

Road Traffic Act 1988 – This legislation explains what is considered a driving offence. 

Thank you for reading our guide on the new hierarchy of road users. 

Guide by AO

Publisher ET