In the case of Paramasivan v Wicks , the defendant was driving in the dusk along a suburban road with shops and pavements on each side when, without warning, a child of 13 ran across the pavement between two parked cars and into the road. The car struck him.
Even though the driver was travelling at 25 mph and said he did not notice the child until he hit him, the court found that he should have noticed the gathering of children and should have slowed to about 15mph.
It was estimated that the driver had just over two seconds to see the pedestrian and to slow down but failed to do so. Again, although the claimant succeeded in establishing primary liability, contributory negligence was set at 75%.
Generally, where the pedestrian crosses the road suddenly and unexpectedly leaving the driver no time to react, courts may be reluctant to attribute blame to the driver but the degree to which the pedestrian’s movement is sudden or unexpected may determine the scale of apportionment between the parties.