'Podestrian' risk rising for drivers, warns insurer
Portable media players are putting a growing number of pedestrians in danger, UK insurance firm Swinton has warned.
"Watch where you're f***ing going!"
It defined a “podestrian” is anyone who listens to an MP3 player or phone while they're out and about, and are so immersed in the musical experience or their conversation that they don't pay attention to their surroundings and the risks they pose.
The Insurer identified not only high sound volumes but also the increasing use of noice-canceling and noise-eliminating headphones as a factor in the rise in accidents involving podestrians.
Swinton claimed that it’s seen “a significant increase” in the number of drivers citing podestrians as a factor in insurance claim forms for minor accidents.
According to Swinton, podestrians currently account for about nine per cent of minor accidents involving sudden braking or shunts. Some 62 per cent of podestrians are identified as kids or teenagers.
The most common podestrian-related scenario is when one steps out into the road without looking properly, their music masking the sounds of oncoming traffic. When such movements are combined with texting the problem becomes even worse, Swindon said.
Mind you, how many claimants have simply blamed accidents on iPod users because they're an easy target isn't known.
Police in New South Wales, Australia have already identified the same problem and this year launched a series of hard-hitting adverts showing the lifeless bodies of MP3 player owners lying in roads. Each corpse was outlined with a white headphone cable, instead of the traditional white chalk mark.
Didn't this happen with Walkmans?
Theres nothing new under the sun
meanwhile, Boy (and girl racers) could always try driving defensively - or carefully as we experienced old farts call it.
Let me through!
That explains why Ipod sales are so high. it's all plot really.
Got problems now, wait until electric vehicles are rife it is going to look like a bowling alley out there.
@Walkmans, inner-ear headphones
"It wasn't so much of a problem for the Walkman etc. because of the type of headsets."
My Walkman (circa 1998) had the traditional headphones, but I could get the inner-ear headphones for $9 bucks even then. The earbud-type headphones have been out there since at least 1994, still inside the Walkman era.
Oh, and by the way, my Walkman *still works*. I wonder how many iPods actually live that long...
Maybe not music players?
"How long have there been portable music players? Over twenty years? I think we can blame the rise of accidents on numpty members of the public living in a litigation happy society, comfortable in the knowledge that their personal responsibility is all but removed and they can claim a shedload of money if a demon driver hits them.
I'd call it natural selection..."
I think you've hit it on the head! Where I live (Iowa City, IA, USA) I've seen a HUGE increase recently of people just not looking.
1) Where my parents live, there's several kids who just run out onto the street. There's one kid in particular who will just run right out in the street, on a regular basis, without looking.. even right in front of cars. The kid is young, so this isn't too surprising by itself... But he'll do it *while the dad's standing right there!* The dad... One time my mom was like "you know, you shouldn't have your kid running out in front of cars" and he was like "Oh, it's alright". She's like "Really, no it's not" and he just kind of dazedly stared off into space, no response whatsoever. He will not tell his kid that he should look before going out in the street! The same kid also will leave trikes and crap like *in* other people's driveways... 100s of feet of sidewalk, and he consistently will leave stuff in the few feet where someone has to stop their car on the street, get out, and move this stuff.. I've seen the dad walk right past it and he won't move it either. I haven't had him run in front of me yet, but I intend to give him a blast on the horn if he does, maybe he'll get scared out of running in front of cars before one runs him down.
2) I'm also seeing more bicyclists here.. well, OK. The serious bicyclists are not any "worse" than they've ever been (I see one do something stupid once in a while, but so do the cars.) Others are just riding bikes around in their residential neighborhood for fun.. they seem to ALSO think nothing of just riding on the sidewalk, and at random intervals hop the curb into the street -- again, without looking and so sometimes right in front of cars. They'll also ride so they're swerving around over like 2/3rds of the street (which is OK in general, they're just clowning around on a low-traffic residential street), but they won't have the sense to ride straight for a few seconds when cars are going by. These kids look to be early teenaged, old enough to know better.. they don't even have the sense to look surprised or alarmed when they hop a curb, look over and see a car stopped like 3 feet from running them down! They *do* nearly wipe out from shock if I toot my horn at them when I have to get on the brakes though. It's bad enough now, if I see anyone biking in these neighborhoods, I top out at about 10MPH (as opposed to the 25MPH speed limit..) I think, again, noone must have told them that it's stupid to run (well, bike) out in front of cars, so they just go ahead and do it. Also, although the US doesn't really have them, I think they might be chavs.
What about 'Podtards'?