- One in ten pedestrians crossing the road are focused on their gadgets -
Thursday 15 March 2012: New research out today reveals that 8.38am is the most dangerous time for motorists to encounter pedestrians crossing the road when a fifth (22 per cent) have their eyes fixated on their gadgets rather than the traffic.
The study(1) by esure car insurance found that our careers are contributing to this hazardous habit with 13 per cent of Brits admitting to regularly crossing the road while dealing with work matters on their phone. Unsurprisingly therefore that 6.22pm was the second most dangerous time for motorists to be aware of pedestrians - with nine per cent of those observed during the survey caught looking at or using their gadgets while crossing the road.
Over 1,000 people were polled for the study, while a team of researchers was also deployed across the UK to monitor busy road crossings over the course of a day in London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Cardiff and Manchester. Londoners were the most perilous pedestrians with researchers recording four near misses involving gadget distracted passengers on Shaftsbury Avenue over the course of twelve hours.
According to the findings one in twelve Brits (8 per cent) look at or use their gadgets while crossing the road at any time during the day with men being the worst culprits. Men were more likely to cross the road while using more than one gadget, with 14 per cent of men admitting to doing so compared to just 11 per cent of women.
The findings also reveal that 37 per cent of pedestrians have made a call while crossing the road, while almost a third (30 per cent) have read and sent text messages. Proving that Brits are oblivious to the consequences of walking and talking on their handheld devices, one in ten Brits (ten per cent) have played games on a handheld device and one in twelve (eight per cent) have even surfed the internet while crossing the road. A further five per cent have even posted on a social networking site.
A worrying five per cent of those surveyed have nearly hit or just missed hitting a pedestrian while crossing the road as a result of using their gadgets, while 13 per cent of pedestrians admit to having bumped into another pedestrian.
Despite the fact that 46 per cent of Brits said that they have crossed the road while distracted by their gadgets, an overwhelming 73 per cent said that this behaviour was unacceptable.
Mike Pickard, Head of risk and Underwriting at esure car insurance, said: “Crossing the road is the most dangerous thing that most of us do on a daily basis so it’s important that we use all of our senses to avoid traffic even at a pedestrian crossing where it’s safe to do so
“Smartphones are great for surfing the net or keeping in touch whilst on the go, but pedestrians also need to know when to put them away. Crossing the road while distracted by gadgets is not only incredibly dangerous to the pedestrian but also other road users. If a motorist had to suddenly swerve to avoid hitting a pedestrian it could put other lives at risk too.”
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Notes to Editors: (1) esure used the independent research company RedShift who surveyed 1,002 Brits aged 18 and over online, as well as conducting pedestrian counts in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff and Birmingham between 1 and 5 March 2012. Redshift’s researchers are members of the MRS, PRCA, BPC and Esomar, and abide by their guidelines