Mike Stevens | Jun 7, 2010

New research by insurer AAMI has found that over just over one quarter of Australian motorists consider pedestrians to be a hazard while driving. The research, which focused both on drivers and pedestrians, showed that over two-thirds of pedestrians admitted to jay-walking.

In 2009, over 200 pedestrian fatalities were recorded on Australian roads and, according to AAMI spokesperson Mike Sopinski, that number is set to grow with the increasing use of music players and mobile phones.

“Increasingly pedestrians are also using technology like MP3 players and mobile phones to talk, text or listen to music while walking, and these distractions may mean they are not always paying close enough attention to their surroundings," Mr Sopinski said.

“This becomes even more important in a situation like crossing the road, where inattention could quickly result in a tragic accident.”

Mr Sopinski said that while pedestrians need to consider their surroundings more when walking near traffic, motorists have a similar responsibility.

“Alarmingly, half of the drivers surveyed said that pedestrians who engaged in dangerous activities like jaywalking, were to blame if they were hit by a car," he said.

“Drivers need to be conscious of all road users, not just other cars."

Despite the dim view of pedestrians, 93 percent of motorists surveyed said that they always look out for pedestrians while driving, and 95 percent said they drive more carefully in areas with high pedestrian activity.

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