Child Pedestrian Accidents Explained

In this guide, we examine child pedestrian accidents. There are various ways child pedestrian injuries could occur. We take a look at some of these and explore a few child pedestrian road accident statistics

Additionally, we look at Highway Code rules for pedestrians that you could teach your child to help keep them safe from road traffic accidents. Should your child suffer an injury on the roads, you may want to know how liability is decided. We explain this and then look at whether you could claim compensation on behalf of your child. 

If you make a personal injury claim on your child’s behalf, you may like to have the support of a solicitor specialising in road traffic accidents. We conclude this guide with an examination of the benefits No Win No Fee solicitors could offer. 

Direct any questions you have about child accident claims to a member of our advisory team. To discuss child pedestrian accident compensation:

  • Call 020 8050 2736
  • Request a call back from an advisor by filling in our claim online form. 
  • Ask about child injury claims in our live chat. 

Pedestrian safety should be taught to children to prevent them chasing a ball into the road.

Select A Section 

  1. Statistics About Child Pedestrian Accidents
  2. Causes Of Child Pedestrian Accidents
  3. What Safety Precautions Could Parents Teach Children?
  4. Who Is Liable For Child Pedestrian Accidents?
  5. Can I Claim Compensation On My Child’s Behalf?
  6. Why Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis?
  7. Read More About Claiming For A Child Pedestrian Accident

Statistics About Child Pedestrian Accidents

The Department for Transport collects reported road casualties information in Great Britain and publishes it as an annual report each year. The latest annual report is for 2022 and was published on 28th September 2023. These statistics cover incidents that were reported to the police. 

In 2022, there were a total of:

  • 1,711 fatalities amongst all road users. 17 of these were children under 16 years old killed as child pedestrians. 
  • 29,742 road users were reported killed or seriously injured (adjusted). 1,417 were children under the age of 16. 
  • 135,480 casualties of all severities amongst all road users. 4,894 were child pedestrian accidents involving a child below the age of 16. 

Causes Of Child Pedestrian Accidents

The Department for Transport also publishes a list of contributory factors in collisions. This provides insight into why incidents occur and how they happen (as reported by the attending police officer). However, they only supply information on pedestrian accidents in general, rather than those specific to children. 

The most common contributory factors for pedestrians and vehicles involved in a fatal or serious collision in Great Britain for the years 2018-2022 include the pedestrian or driver:

  • Failing to look properly. 
  • Being careless, reckless or in a hurry. 
  • Failing to judge a vehicle’s speed or path. 

In the next section, we will examine the Highway Code and look at how following the rules could help prevent child pedestrian accidents. 

What Safety Precautions Could Parents Teach Children?

The Highway Code sets rules and regulations for all road users to follow. Some of these are also found in various laws governing road usage. All road users, including children, need to be aware of the Highway Code. Additionally, the Highway Code states under rule H1, that road users need to be considerate and understand their responsibility for the safety of others. 

Rules 1-35 are for pedestrians. To help prevent child pedestrian accidents, parents could teach these rules to children. Additionally, some of these rules relate specifically to children, who are considered vulnerable road users, including:

  • Rule 4: Young children should not be alone on the roads (including using the pavement by themselves). If you take your child out, keep between them and motor vehicle traffic, and hold their hands. Very young children should be in pushchairs or use reins. 
  • Rule 7: This rule covers the “Green Cross Code”, which is advice for pedestrians on crossing the road. Additionally, rule 7 states that children should not be allowed out alone until they not only understand the Green Cross Code but use it properly. It includes advice on finding a safe place to cross the road, looking and listening for traffic, letting vehicles pass and how to cross the road. 

Child pedestrian casualties could occur while crossing a zebra crossing.

Who Is Liable For Child Pedestrian Accidents?

As discussed above, the Highway Code applies to all road users. Following relevant rules and regulations found in it is part of the duty of care that all road users owe to each other. Another part of this duty involves following relevant parts of the Road Traffic Act 1988. By following the relevant rules and regulations, road users can avoid causing injury and damage to themselves and others. Should a road user breach this duty of care, they could be liable for a road traffic accident. 

There are various ways child pedestrian accidents could happen, including, a driver:

  • Speeding through a red light or pedestrian crossing. 
  • Backing out of a driveway without looking. 
  • Turning while failing to signal or failing to look. 
  • Driving too quickly through residential areas. 

However, if you fail to hold your child’s hand across the road or walk into the path of oncoming traffic, you could be at fault for causing a child pedestrian injury. Not all accidents involving child pedestrians will be the fault of the driver. To find out if you could make a pedestrian accident claim on behalf of your child, please read the next section. 

Can I Claim Compensation On My Child’s Behalf?

As previously mentioned, road users owe each other a duty of care while navigating the roads. Should they breach this, you could be eligible for personal injury compensation. In order to have a valid pedestrian accident claim, you will need to prove that:

  • A driver owed you (or your child) a duty of care. 
  • They breached this duty. 
  • You (or your child, if you are claiming on their behalf) sustained injuries due to this breach. These could be minor to severe injuries. 

A claim also needs to be filed within the three-year personal injury claims time limit, set out in the Limitation Act 1980. This time limit starts on the day of the pedestrian accident that caused the injury. 

However, children under the age of 18 cannot manage their own personal injury claims for road traffic crashes. The time limit is paused until their 18th birthday, which gives them 3 years from this day to begin the personal injury claims process. 

If you would like to claim compensation on behalf of your child, you would need to be appointed by the court to act as their litigation friend. You can apply to the court to act in this capacity at any point before your child turns 18. 

Direct any questions you have about compensation claims for child pedestrian accidents to one of our advisors. 

A solicitor holding a bubble with the words personal injury law.

Evidence That Could Help In Pedestrian Accident Claims

If you are claiming on your child’s behalf, it is important to note that you will need evidence. This needs to show liability for their injuries

Evidence that could be useful when claiming for child pedestrian accidents includes:

  • Accident reports. If the police attend the scene, you can submit a copy of the police report
  • A copy of your child’s medical records. Medical records can help illustrate the nature of their injuries and the injury severity as well as the treatment they needed. 
  • Contact details from witnesses. If anyone saw the collision, you could note their contact information so they can provide a witness statement later on. 
  • Photographs. These could be from the collision scene or any visible injuries your child suffered. 
  • Accident footage. For example, if your child’s accident was caught on a dashcam. 

Contact a member of our advisory team for free advice about gathering evidence to support pedestrian accident claims.  

Why Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis?

If you launch a personal injury claim on behalf of your child, you may wish to seek legal representation. One of the pedestrian accident solicitors on our panel could help you with the personal injury claims process. Our panel typically offer a No Win No Fee service under the terms of a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA)

Solicitors that offer a No Win No Fee service:

  • Don’t charge upfront for their work on the claim.
  • Won’t take any ongoing fees.
  • Doesn’t ask for you to pay for their services if your claim fails.
  • Only deducts a small, success fee from your award if your claim succeeds. This percentage is limited by the law. 

Our advisors can answer any questions you may have about personal injury claims for child pedestrian accidents. If you wish to launch a claim and meet our eligibility critiera, you could be connected to one of the No Win No Fee solicitors from our panel. 

To discuss pedestrian accident claims:

  • Call 020 8050 2736
  • Fill in our claim online form and an advisor will call you back. 
  • Ask about claiming with a No Win No Fee solicitor in our live chat. 

A solicitor reviews notes for claims for child pedestrian accidents.

Read More About Claiming For A Child Pedestrian Accident

Additional personal injury claims articles:

External resources that could be useful:

If you need any further advice about claiming for child pedestrian accidents, speak to a member of our advisory team.