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Promoting safer journeys - Brake's Kids Walk

By Johanna Caine

Published In: Personal Injury

Every day, six children are killed or seriously injured on roads in Britain. This equates to an entire classroom of children every week. These statistics are a stark reminder of the urgent need for improved road safety measures. As personal injury lawyers, our team at Switaskis have first-hand experience of helping victims of road traffic accidents and know the devastating impact they can have.

Children involved in road traffic accidents are particularly susceptible to serious injuries and mortality. The under 15s are especially vulnerable as they haven’t fully developed an awareness of road risks. Younger children, due to their small stature, are often not seen by road users, putting them at even more of a risk. Whether the driver is reckless, or the child is exhibiting immature behaviour, road traffic accidents are often preventable with the right precautions.

According to Brake, in 2022, 1,766 people were killed and 28,941 were seriously injured in road traffic accidents in the UK. While data on victim age is not always recorded, the statistics we do have for 2022 in are deeply concerning.

Pedestrians account for around 20% of injuries and 22% of fatalities on the road. Cyclists account for 15% of serious injuries.

These statistics highlight the urgent need for initiatives like Brake's Kids Walk, which not only promotes safety but also raises awareness about the severe impact of road traffic accidents on young lives.

Brake's Kids Walk

Brake's Kids Walk is an inspiring initiative that brings together thousands of primary school children across the country. They walk together to highlight the benefits of walking for health and the environment. This event is a powerful call to action, advocating for the right of every child to embark on safe and healthy journeys in their communities.

The Brake Kids Walk held last June saw an overwhelming response. Over 110,000 children, aged 4 to 11, from more than 720 schools and nurseries nationwide took part. These young campaigners marched with a clear message - they deserve the right to walk safely, and without the fear or threat of traffic.

Alongside this event, Brake launched a media campaign advocating for 20mph speed limits around all schools. Their research highlighted a concerning statistic - 25% of parents avoid walking their children to school due to the dangers posed by fast traffic. This campaign underscores the need for systemic changes to ensure the safety of our young pedestrians.

Keeping children safe on the road

  • Avoid overtaking when unsafe

  - Never overtake if the road ahead is not clearly visible or if it poses a risk

   - Be extra cautious in residential areas and near schools where children may be present

  • Maintain a safe distance

   - Keep a safe distance from the car in front to ensure ample time to react to sudden stops

   - Increase the distance in adverse weather conditions

  • Drive slowly and cautiously

   - Reduce speed in areas where children are likely to be present, such as school zones and playgrounds

   - Be extra vigilant in residential areas and during peak school hours

  • Anticipate children’s actions

   - Always be prepared for the possibility that a child might run into the road

   - Pay attention to surroundings, especially near schools, parks, and bus stops

  • Take regular breaks on long journeys

   - Plan breaks every two hours to avoid driver fatigue

   - Use rest stops to refresh and stay alert

  • Vehicle maintenance

   - Regularly check and maintain your vehicle to ensure it’s in good working order

   - Focus on brakes, tyres, lights, and mirrors to ensure safety

  • Educate children on road safety

   - Teach children about the dangers of the road and safe crossing practice

   - Encourage them to use designated crossing points and always look both ways

  • Respect speed limits

   - Adhere to speed limits to reduce the risk of accidents

   - Remember that speed limits are set to protect all road users, especially children

  • Wear your seatbelt

   - Ensure all passengers, including children, wear seatbelts at all times

   - Use appropriate child seats or booster seats as required by law

Contact our road traffic accident solicitors

Johanna Caine , a solicitor in our personal injury team recently attended Brake’s After the Crash conference in Manchester.  Johanna left the conference feeling inspired and particularly touched by the courage and bravery of the bereaved victims who shared their stories.

At Switalskis, we pride ourselves on showing support not just to members of the public but also to charities such as Brake who see the devastating effects of road traffic accidents, first hand.

The main message delivered at the conference was to do more to showcase the work that Brake does in providing care to road victims. Those involved in road traffic accidents are not treated the same as victims of other crimes. Brake sees it as their job as advocates to give victims a voice and to share the stories of those affected.

The other key message detailed the importance of a trauma informed approach. Often those who suffer catastrophic injuries or loss need extra support to understand and account for what has happened to them.

At the conference, one of the bereaved victims stressed the importance of being personal and less professional, a hug, rather than legal jargon for example. At Switalskis, we encourage our clients to express their worries and needs as we put those at the forefront of the case. We also feel this approach helps reduce the potential risk of further trauma and harm.

We’re proud to champion the rights of children to have safe journeys. We believe that through collective efforts and continued advocacy, we can make a significant difference in reducing road traffic accidents and ensuring every child can walk without fear.

Our team take a trauma informed approach with clients, taking time to understand their unique experience and needs. Our specialist personal injury team works closely with clients every step of the way, making sure they’re well-informed and feel confident making decisions.

Experiencing injury due to a road traffic accident can leave you feeling traumatised and worried about your future. With the right legal support, you can be confident that your future is secured. Call road traffic accident specialists on 01302 320621 or email


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Johanna has over five years' experience in catastrophic injury. She is a Solicitor in our Personal Injury team.


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