Think before you act: top risky behaviours in NZ

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We’re a nation of impatient and also easily distracted pedestrians, according to a nationwide survey commissioned by IAG NZ, which trades under the AMI, State, NZI, Lumley and Lantern brands.

With the aim of helping to keep New Zealanders safe on the road and at home this summer, Nielsen* asked New Zealanders about the types of risky behaviour they engage in and found that nearly half of people (48%) stand in the middle and wait for traffic to clear rather than hold back until it’s safe to cross.

Overall, younger people (aged 15 to 24) admitted to taking the most risks, including nearly being hit by a car while crossing the road (5% compared to 1% of people aged 40 to 54), stepping out in front of a car by mistake (19% compared to 12% of people aged 25 to 39 and 7% of people aged 40 to 54) and failing to hear a car coming because their music on their headphones was too loud (12% compared to 9% of people aged 25 to 39 and 2% of people aged 40 to 54).

Young people were also twice more likely to admit they’d walked or bumped into something or someone while texting or talking on their mobile phone compared to people aged 25 to 39 (26% compared to 13%) and almost nine times more likely  than those aged 55 and older. One in three people (33% across all age groups) admitted to having crossed the road where they shouldn’t have.

Figures from the Ministry of Transport show that between 2010 and 2014, 60% 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.

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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% of all social costs from crashes that were fatal or in which someone was injured.

“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,” said Executive General Manager – AMI Insurance, Kevin Hughes.

AMI claims expert Chris Kiddey said IAG’s research and the figures from the Ministry of Transport highlight the importance of knowing what your insurance covers you for. “While most people are aware that their car insurance can cover their liability in motor vehicle accidents, fewer people realise that their contents insurance also has liability cover that can often help in some risky situations.”

“If you cross the road without looking and a car swerves to avoid you and crashes, you are definitely to blame, but your personal contents insurance might cover your liability in this case,” Chris said.

Examples of other situations where contents insurance may cover your liability for damages to other people’s property are if your dog runs into the road and gets hit by a car, if you trim a tree and a branch falls over the fence and damages your neighbour’s house, or if you are staying in a motel and accidentally set it on fire by leaving a stove element on.

However, Chris said it is important to note that this liability cover can’t help with everything.

Chris explained: “Your personal liability insurance for example won’t help if you cause damage while doing your job or using your car.

“But these are things for which you can get a separate policy. When it comes to your own personal liability – and often that of your family who lives with you – your contents insurer may be able to help.”
Research conducted by Nielsen for IAG shows risky behaviour by age group:

Situation Age 15 to 24 Age 55 plus Extent those aged 15 to 24 are more likely than those aged 55 plus
Crossed the road where I shouldn’t have 44% 27% 1.6 times
Texted or talked on mobile while walking and bumped into someone or something 26% 3% 8.7 times
Stepped out in front of a vehicle by mistake as I didn’t see it coming 19% 5% 3.8 times
Had a near miss when walking/ running past someone who was reversing 16% 6% 2.7 times
Had my music up loud on my headphones and didn’t hear a car coming 12% 1% 12 times

 

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%
Crossed the road where I shouldn’t have 33%
Realised I had left the doors or windows of my house wide open when I was out 25%
Texted or talked on mobile while walking and bumped into someone or something 11%
Left a frying pan unattended on a cooker when I was cooking something 11%
Stepped out in front of a vehicle by mistake as I didn’t see it coming 10%
Had a near miss when walking/ running past someone who was reversing 9%
Had my music up loud on my headphones and didn’t hear a car coming 6%
Was nearly hit by a vehicle crossing a road while texting or talking on the phone 3%

 

* Survey results are based on an online survey of a representative sample of the national population aged 15 plus, conducted from 29 October to 4 November this year by Nielsen. The survey had a sample size of 702 with a predicted maximum margin of error is ±3.7%. The results were weighted by age, gender and region to be representative of the online population.

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