Using a hidden camera in Cardiff, Admiral Car Insurance has revealed the dangers facing pedestrians after the latest provisional Government figures show more than 16 people are killed or seriously injured on UK Roads every day.
Research from Admiral reveals that 68% of Welsh people (two thirds of Brits) admitted never hearing of the new Hierarchy of Road User rules which were introduced last year to give priority to pedestrians.
There is also lack of understanding on the different types of pedestrian crossings on our roads. Of those surveyed in Wales only 7% were able to identify a puffin crossing correctly and just under half (48%) were unable to identify a pelican crossing.
The insurer’s research is highlighting the lack of understanding on the different types of pedestrian crossings on our roads, with only 9% of those surveyed able to identify a puffin crossing correctly, and more than half (57%) unable to identify a pelican crossing.
According to the latest provisional figures from the Department for Transport (DfT), 6,161 pedestrians were killed or seriously injured on UK roads between July 2021 – June 2022 – a rise of over 30% compared to the previous year. In total, over 19,000 pedestrian casualties were recorded across the UK with this figure including those who are killed, seriously injured, or slightly injured – more than 2 every hour.
Last year, the Hierarchy of Road users was added to the Highway Code in a bid to make UK roads safer for all road users, with the structure establishing pedestrians as the most vulnerable due to the risk they face if they are involved in an incident.
But a year on from its introduction, Admiral’s research reveals only a third (35%) of those surveyed have heard of the guidance. While awareness is slightly better among younger people (41%), just 8% of over 65s are aware of it.
The DfT’s figures also highlight the increased risk facing pedestrians, with the group revealed to be the second-most at risk of death or serious injury after car occupants.
In fact, the latest data reveals the number of pedestrians killed or seriously injured on British roads increased more than any other road user group, up by 30% compared to the previous year. Worryingly, the number of child casualties is also up by 13%. By comparison, the number of pedal cyclists increased by 5% over the same timeframe.
Despite their purpose to make navigating roads safer for pedestrians, Admiral’s research reveals both drivers and pedestrians are confused over the different crossing types on UK roads as 91% of people surveyed were unable to correctly identify a puffin crossing, while almost one in five (18%) couldn’t correctly identify a zebra crossing.
The insurer also researched the risk facing pedestrians at crossings, with 1 in 5 (20%) revealing they have had an accident or near miss at a crossing, with the most common cause cited as driver failing to stop (57%) or driver going too fast (43%).
Despite the obvious risk, over half (56%) of those surveyed admit they ignore pedestrian crossing instructions when on foot, while 31% of drivers admit to being an ‘amber gambler’ by driving through amber lights. Young drivers aged between 18-34 are most likely to disobey the rules while driving (43%), compared to 18% of over 65s.
Despite the number of instances falling during the pandemic, over the last five years Admiral has dealt with over 2,300 claims where a pedestrian has been hit by a driver, with 77% involving adults, and 23% involving children.
Based on the address of the policy holder, drivers in Leeds reported the highest number of incidents involving a pedestrian to Admiral in the last five years, followed by Cardiff in second place.