posted 4 years ago

Opinion: Why Do Pedestrians Think They’re Indestructible?

Motorists need to be more vigilant than ever before

Among the most infuriating things I face as a driver are the pedestrians who walk straight out into the road without looking. Worse still are those who do look, see a vehicle heading towards them, and still decide to walk across the road.

Crossing a road is something which you are taught in primary school, but some people clearly need refresher lessons later on in life.

Social Media

I’m certain that mobile phones and social media are a factor. I am getting increasingly alarmed by the number of pedestrians who just walk out into a road without even checking for traffic while playing on their phones, their seemingly mesmerised faces illuminated by the stark light from the phone’s touchscreen.

Surely checking Facebook or Twitter can wait a few seconds whilst you cross the road, but apparently that is not the case.

If you can’t bear to take your eyes off your phone whilst trying to make your way safely across to the other side, then you seriously have a problem.

I admit that I am one of those people who walk around looking at my phone but as soon as I reach a road I immediately put the phone in my pocket.


Another thing that I have noticed is the number of people not walking an extra few metres to a crossing, instead deciding to cross the road whilst playing a game of chicken.

It might be down to people being too lazy to walk that extra distance, or it might be that people are in a hurry.

Surely people can’t be in so much of a hurry that they risk their lives.

The facts

The Government produces a range of very interesting statistics based on road casualties.

Tragically, overall road deaths were up by three per cent to 1,760 in the year to June 2014.

There were 24,580 people killed or seriously injured in the same period, a four per cent increase on the previous year.

Surprisingly, pedestrian deaths are not on the increase. The number of road accidents involving pedestrians is actually decreasing steadily.

There were 1,220 pedestrians killed or seriously injured between April and June 2014, a one per cent decrease compared to the same period in 2013, and 18 per cent lower than the average between 2005 and 2009.

At the same time, death and serious injury among cyclists is climbing dramatically – up 10 per cent year on year.

It’s what lies behind those statistics which is most interesting.

Among potential influencing factors are warmer weather, encouraging more people on to two wheels, and an increase in general traffic.

It might be that slower road speeds are good news for pedestrians.

Sadly, while cyclists tend to ride defensively, pedestrians seem intent on taking unnecessary risks that can place drivers in a very difficult situation.

Unintentionally hurting any human being not only brings a heavy emotional burden but can also land a driver in trouble with the law.

Causing death by dangerous driving carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison, although some people think that this is too lenient and it should in fact be life behind bars.

There is also talk of raising the sentence for careless driving to five years behind bars.

It is always a tragedy whenever anyone is hurt on the road.

The major question in all of this is who ultimately should get the blame, the pedestrian for not paying attention to the road, or the driver for not noticing them.


re Andrew's comment, did the police charge said pedestrian with making a false statement, I somehow doubt it. A few well publicised prosecutions for lying would soon stop people trying it on.

More massaged figures which look bad for the motorist, the figure "Killed or seriously injured" is neither one nor the other, its just another misleading statistic which looks bad for the motorist when rolled into one. A large percentage of injuries can be put down to whip lash claim fraud so cannot be trusted and although there have been car crashes this year involving young drivers and multiple fatalities in a single accident, the authorities will still not give a relevant brake down of how many actual deaths have been caused to pedestrians and other motorists by police chases, or by foreign or immigrant drivers, by uninsured and unlicensed drivers, by drugged drivers(for which there is no roadside test) by Trucks foreign or otherwise in multiple vehicle crashes, and deaths to vehicle drivers including motorcyclists caused by weather or poor road conditions. And importantly how many deaths were caused by pedestrians, as a fatal "Road Traffic Accident" can be caused by a pedestrian, RTA figures are made to look bad for the motorist. I would like to see statistics of how many killed or injured were texting or listening to music through ear phones? and how many were riding bicycles while listening to music. A large percentage of people killed in motor vehicles on British roads were innocent and not at fault, and those facts should also be produced. All relevant points which will not be answered and until they are accident causes will not be pinpointed and young motorists cannot be educated.

Back to Basics: the natural habitat of motor vehicles is the ROAD. If you went to a zoo, wandered into the lion enclosure, and got yourself disemboweled by a very large feline, how is that the lion's fault? Are you really that stupid? Same here: if a pedestrian simply wanders unattentively and mindlessly off the pavement (the space/place reserved for pedestrians) and into the road (the space/place reserved for motor traffic), why is it the driver of the motor vehicle that is automatically assumed to be at fault? In a 30mph limit, a vehicle travelling at 30mph is perfectly within it's rights and the law. A pedestrian who deliberately steps into the path of said vehicle is always going to come off worst, and is the "At Fault" party here. Roads are for vehicles, pavements are for pedestrians. If a pedestrian needs to cross a road, it requires great care and attention - better still use crossing places provided specifically for the purpose. (Are children not taught this at school/home any more?!)

Some pedestrians seem to regard crossing a city street as a challenge, looking drivers in the eye and daring them to hit them! They know who will be regarded as being at fault.

I refer to looking but still deciding to step out in front of a car as the Glasgow method of crossing the road because its endemic there & it's not just young people. They watch the cars coming, pick on one that looks as though its going a bit slower and then step out in front of it to cross. I get picked quite a bit because I stay within the speed limit. Over a third of pedestian deaths in Scotland occur in area around Glasgow, significantly out of proportion to the population resident there.

some years ago a pedestrian into the road, straight into the side of my pick up truck, i of course stopped. he was in pain from his ankle but claimed he did not need an ambulance, however i insisted and phoned 999. it turned out he had broken his ankle. he later claimed to police that i had been on my phone, had mounted the pavement and collided with him, i expect he thought he was in for a good pay out from my insurance. i got a print out of my phone usage and gave to police which proved my innocence. no doubt had i accepted he did not need an ambulance and left i would been found as guilty as sin, and he would have got his pay out!

Motorists should be vigilant at all times but pedestrians and twats on bikes ( proper cyclists i apologize) should also be responsible and stop expecting cars and other road vehicles to take the blame for there stupid actions roads are dangerous place so stop mucking about when your on them

I drive 50 miles a day on lanes, a roads and motorways. Pedestrians and cyclists should take care, but they are not responsible for a high speed dangerous tonne of steel. Ultimately the responsibility is always with the motorist, because they are the one that presents the danger they are responsible for controlling it... and that means safe speeds well within safe margins. Sorry speed freaks, hire a track for a day, let vulnerable road users also travel in safety.