Anna Leask is senior police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Revealed: The risks Kiwi pedestrians take

Of the 702 people surveyed, 33 per cent admitted to crossing the road where they shouldn't have. Photo / Bradley Ambrose
Of the 702 people surveyed, 33 per cent admitted to crossing the road where they shouldn't have. Photo / Bradley Ambrose

A new survey has revealed the types of risks Kiwi pedestrians take while out and about.

The nationwide survey was carried out by Nielsen and commissioned by IAG NZ, parent company of insurance providers AMI, State, NZI, Lumley and Lantern.

Surveyors asked Kiwis about the types of risky behaviour they engaged in and the results were released to the Herald.

Of the 702 people surveyed, 33 per cent admitted to crossing the road where they shouldn't have.

Forty-eight per cent of people admitted crossing the road and having to wait in the middle for traffic to clear on the other side.

People listening to music loudly and failing to hear cars coming totalled 6 per cent, 10 per cent of people stepped out in front of a car "by mistake", 9 per cent had a "near miss" while walking behind a reversing vehicle and 3 per cent were almost hit by a vehicle while texting or talking on the phone while crossing the road.

Figures from the Ministry of Transport show that between 2010 and 2014, 60 per cent of all car crashes that involved pedestrians happened when the person on foot was crossing the road.

In 2014, 43 pedestrians were killed, 221 were seriously injured and 614 suffered minor injuries in accidents on New Zealand's roads, stinging the taxpayer for about $405 million in social costs.

Social costs can include loss of life and life quality; loss of productivity; and medical, legal, court and property damage expense.

Last year, pedestrian accidents accounted for about 13 per cent of all social costs from crashes that were fatal or in which someone was injured.

AMI Insurance executive general manager Kevin Hughes said drivers needed to be extra vigilant over the summer when more pedestrians were out.

"Road users all share space and responsibility but drivers need to maintain extra vigilance knowing pedestrians are prone to distractions yet the consequences can be fatal if hit by a car."

Research conducted by Nielsen for IAG shows risky top risky behaviours in New Zealand in the last six months:

• Crossed the road and had to wait in the middle of the road for traffic to clear: 48 per cent
• Crossed the road where I shouldn't have: 33 per cent
• Texted or talked on mobile while walking and bumped into someone or something: 11 per cent
• Stepped out in front of a vehicle by mistake as I didn't see it coming: 10 per cent
• Had a near miss when walking/ running past someone who was reversing: 9 per cent
• Had my music up loud on my headphones and didn't hear a car coming: 6 per cent
• Was nearly hit by a vehicle crossing a road while texting or talking on the phone: 3 per cent

- NZ Herald

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