It does not look the sort of road you would expect to see a pedestrian try to cross.
Other than at traffic lights. Or using a bridge or underpass.
Viewed through the dashcam of the slow-moving car in queuing traffic, we can see it’s an urban environment.
The road has 4 lanes in each direction (we’re in the 3rd lane). A continuous concrete barrier about 4 feet high forms the central reservation.
A young woman steps off the pavement to our left and begins crossing from left to right – for her, crossing the first half of the road.
She’s on her mobile. She’s holding it up to her right ear. We can see her left hand gesturing as she chats.
The field of view is distorted by the wide angle lens of the dashcam – it makes things look further away than they are in fact.
As the woman crosses in front of our vehicle, she bows slightly to thank us for making room for her to pass through.
The outside lane to our right has been empty throughout the 8 seconds or so since she started to cross. But she seems to have forgotten about that lane in terms of possible traffic.
She gets about halfway across the 4th lane then suddenly freezes, realising too late her mistake. She’s seen something to her right, out of the corner of her eye.
The film cuts out just after the multi-purpose vehicle collides with her.
The impact knocks the phone out of her hand. It flies up and over the top of the vehicle.
For Injury Prevention Week 2020 (17 – 21 August), we are concentrating on pedestrian safety.
The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers are calling for pedestrians to pocket that phone to help prevent needless injuries on the roads.
The video described is part of a 50-second compilation of CCTV / dashcam footage and recent statistics produced by APIL for #IPWeek2020.
There is dark humour in some of the excerpts.
Caught on CCTV, a man walks into one of the pillars of a bus shelter while studying his phone, causing him to fall over.
A wheel that has detached from a vehicle narrowly misses a pedestrian who only comes to his senses when he hears the crash of the wheel smashing into the building he has just walked past.
Via dashcam, we see a young woman crossing a multi-lane road run into the side of a flatbed truck. She is fortunate to avoid being struck by the driver’s side wing mirror. Bouncing off the side of the truck, she somehow manages to stay on her feet and get to the pavement.
She was lucky where the woman crossing the 4-lane carriageway was not.
The following findings about pedestrians and mobile phones will not come as any surprise.
UK Government-backed research from 2018 showed that the most common contributory factor in pedestrian casualties is that the injured person “failed to look properly”.
Research through the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) (August 2018) found that pedestrians distracted by phone conversations or other activities are more likely to take greater risks when crossing the road.
72% of drivers say they often see pedestrians step into the road while distracted by their phones. (Source: Road.cc – AA warns of “zombie” pedestrians and cyclists (4 April 2016).
One in three phone users admit they are so engrossed with their gadgets they don’t pay attention. (Source: The Economist – “Smombies” glued to smartphones pose increasing menace to motorists and cyclists (01 August 2018).
There are a numerous examples of this sort of accident.
A widely-reported accident happened on 20 July 2015.
Gemma Brushett was crossing the street at lights at London Bridge. She was distracted by her phone.
The lights were green for traffic.
A Mr Hazeldean was approaching on his bicycle. His speed was about 15mph.
Though he sounded his horn, he was unable to avoid a collision with the pedestrian.
Both of them were knocked unconscious by the collision and each suffered physical injuries.
The fault for the accident was split equally between them.
How we can help
If you take heed of the advice coming from these statistics, videos and stories, you’ll minimise your risk of a mobile phone-related accident.
And in this article, we’ve only looked at mobile phone use by pedestrians.
Should you be injured in an accident as a pedestrian and you were on your phone at the time, you should get advice from a local, specialist solicitor as soon as possible. The fact you were on your phone will probably not prevent you being able to claim successfully.