Road Safety News

Urban commuters flirt with danger

Tuesday 11th June 2013

On average, British urban commuters “take their life into their own hands” 32 times in any given working week, according to new research from the insurance company LV=.

From crossing the road in busy traffic to running to jump on a train when the doors are sliding shut, the ‘LV= Everyday Risk Report’ shows that on average each commuter takes more than 1,600 risks in a 12-month period.

The most common risks urban commuters admitted to include: running up or down stairs/escalators (42%); straying onto the road momentarily to get around slow walkers (39%); crossing the road without due diligence (38%); looking at a smartphone while walking (35%); and crossing the road at a junction without waiting for the green light to flash (30%).

LV= says that commuters in Manchester taking the most risks on average (48 per week), closely followed by commuters in London (38) and Liverpool (30). In the battle of the sexes, women that take more risks than men – 35 and 30 (on average) respectively.

Mark Jones, LV= head of protection, said: “The fact that the average urban British commuter takes so many risks, and so frequently, is concerning. Freak accidents can happen, everyone knows that, but in this instance we’re talking about hazards that can be avoided. It’s about slowing down and being more mindful, and thinking more carefully about the consequences of our actions.

“Physical wellbeing is important to everyone, but an accident can also have serious consequences on people’s finances.”

The results of the research have been corroborated by a social experiment, involving the creation of a fully interactive film that follows an urban commuter on a typical journey to work using public transport. Dubbed the LV= ‘Everyday Life Hazard Perception Test’, users are asked to click on the screen whenever they identify a potential hazard.


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What a daft test. Eg I failed to spot "Hazard 11 Crossing the road when there's a zebra crossing close by".

What I saw was that she looked both ways, there was no traffic anywhere near, so she crossed the road. How is that hazardous? It seems I've been doing it wrong all these years! I am now supposed to stop looking both ways and instead confidently stride out across the road when I'm told to by the pedestrian crossing.

Well we live and learn. Or should that be, we don't live if we don't learn?
Dave Finney, Slough

Agree (7) | Disagree (1)

Judging by what I scored and found an acceptable risk, I'm going back to bed - it is far safer. However, I will take precautions and remove the legs off the bed first.

Agree (7) | Disagree (1)

More insurance company tosh, fact is the public generally are not too bright and do fall over and walk into things. Put them in a car or on a motorbike/cycle and it gets worse. If we had a decent driving standards agency, regular retests and a Police force that could actually enforce things rather than losing staff, we may be on the way to being a bit safer and get cheaper insurance.
David Robinson

Agree (12) | Disagree (2)

The report's conclusions are easy to test. If, as they claim, it's "women that take more risks than men", then hospitals should see higher injury rates among women than men and the morgues would admit more women. On the other hand, women live longer than men so, if the report is correct, perhaps taking risks is good for your health? In which case, remove all health and safety laws!
Dave Finney, Slough

Agree (5) | Disagree (1)

I suppose running around on a soccer pitch with 21 other players all running in different directions, or standing 22 yards away from someone lobbing a cricket ball at me at 70-odd mph is also flirting with death. Heaven only knows what Mark Jones thinks when I strap on a pair of skis and launch myself off a mountain or jump on my mountain bike and cycle between trees. The real wonder is that Mr Jones is thick-skinned enough to put his name to this report which is the very worst kind of pseudo-science.
Kevin Willams, Survival Skills Rider Training

Agree (12) | Disagree (1)

These aren't "risks" - they're everyday normal human behaviour. This insurance company is trying to recategorise things drivers should watch out for as "normal" into "errant" in the hope of reducing payouts.
Bob, Manchester

Agree (12) | Disagree (3)