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When thinking about road safety, vulnerable road users are important to be aware of. Understanding who falls into this category is crucial for road users to ensure safety and reduce accidents on the road. The Highway Code identifies how vulnerable road users are those who are at a higher risk of injury or fatality in the event of a collision. This article will outline who these users are and why they need special consideration.

If you’re interested in learning more, you can read our articles on do you know your highway code or road traffic accidents in the UK. Alternatively, you can call a member of our team on 0300 303 3629.


Pedestrians are the most common and widely recognised group of vulnerable road users. They include:

  • Children: Due to their small size and unpredictability, children are particularly vulnerable when walking near or across roads.
  • Elderly: Older adults may have reduced mobility, slower reaction times, and may not hear or see approaching vehicles as well.
  • Disabled Individuals: Those with physical or cognitive impairments may face additional challenges navigating roads safely.


Cyclists are another major category of vulnerable road users. Despite advancements in cycling infrastructure, cyclists remain at risk due to:

  • Lack of protection: Unlike motor vehicle occupants, cyclists do not have a protective shell, making them more susceptible to serious injuries.
  • Visibility issues: Cyclists can be less visible to drivers, especially in poor lighting or adverse weather conditions.
  • Road Sharing: Sharing the road with larger and faster vehicles can be risky for cyclists.

As well as cyclists, scooter riders, skateboarders and roller skaters are all considered vulnerable road users.


Motorcyclists are also considered vulnerable road users due to several factors:

  • Exposure: Like cyclists, motorcyclists lack the protective barriers that cars provide, increasing their risk of injury in a crash.
  • Maneuverability: While motorcycles are more maneuverable, this can also mean they are harder for drivers to predict and see.
  • Speed: Motorcycles can travel at high speeds, which increases the severity of potential injuries in accidents.

Horse Riders

Horse riders are often overlooked when thinking of vulnerable road users. The presence of horses on roads can pose unique challenges:

  • Unpredictability: Horses can be unpredictable, especially when startled by other road users or loud noises.
  • Visibility: Riders and their horses may be difficult to see, particularly in rural areas with poor lighting.
  • Speed differences: The speed at which horses travel is significantly lower than motor vehicles, creating potential hazards.

Contact us to learn more

If you’ve been involved in a road traffic collision involving a vulnerable road user, then you can contact us for a free consultation. Providing you have a valid claim, our team will be happy to support you during your personal injury claim.

You can contact us by filling out an enquiry form.