PCI Survey Shows Most Walkable Cities Also Thought to be the Most Dangerous for Pedestrians

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–School is out, and families everywhere are making big plans for
vacation. Before you pack the car for the annual summer road trip, there
are a few things the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America
(PCI) wants you to keep in mind. Whether you plan to drive across the
country, or are just enjoying a leisurely stroll through some new and
beautiful city, it’s important to keep your focus and be aware of your
surroundings. Smartphone distractions are all around us.

A recent online survey conducted in June 2016 by Harris Poll on behalf
of PCI among over 2,000 U.S. adults shows that the U.S. cities that are
considered the most walkable may also be the most dangerous for
pedestrians. When asked which U.S. cities they might expect to witness
distracted pedestrians, three in four Americans said New York City; also
the city considered to be the most walkable (57%). Other walkable cities
where high numbers of distracted pedestrians are thought to be found
strolling are Washington, D.C. (26% walkable; 41% distracted), Las Vegas
(32%; 26%), Chicago (19%; 31%), and San Francisco (27%; 27%).

“Distracted walking could be as dangerous as distracted driving,” said
Robert Passmore, PCI’s assistant vice president personal lines
policy. “Urban areas are now faced with the growing threat of
pedestrians glued to smartphones, putting themselves as well as
motorists in greater danger.”

State and federal policymakers are weighing solutions for preventing
deaths and injuries linked to driver and pedestrian smartphone
distractions. While legislation may take time, PCI and auto insurers are
pushing for the immediate benefits of education and awareness as to
these expanding dangers.

“Multi-tasking while walking through downtown might seem like a time
saver, but you’re putting yourself in danger. Pedestrians on smartphones
take longer to cross the street, and even if they check for cars before
crossing, all too often they turn their attention back to their phones
while still in the middle of the intersection,” added Passmore.

Teenagers are especially vulnerable to accidents caused by smartphone
distractions. Research by Safe Kids Worldwide, reveals that one in five
teens admit they cross streets while distracted by a mobile device. A
recent AAA study also found that the 15 to 19 year old demographic has
the largest proportion of distracted drivers. The research shows that
teens are distracted nearly a quarter of the time they’re behind the
wheel and they are four times more likely than adults to get into
crashes while using their cell phone.

“As a parent, these statistics are terrifying, which is why we must work
together to educate our loved ones to put the phone down and pay
attention. It’s up to all of us to practice safe driving habits and to
keep our eyes on the road,” said Passmore.

PCI’s 8 Driving Safety Tips:

1. Whether you’re taking a summer get-away or just running errands
around town, we encourage you to buckle up, drive safely and try to be
prepared for those who may not. Seat belts save lives and help prevent
injuries. Also, make sure kids are in the proper car or booster seats.

2. Always Designate a Driver. If you plan to drink – make sure you have
a driver who is sober.

3. Plan ahead and allow extra travel time. With more people on the
roads, often driving in unfamiliar territory, the potential for a
traffic crash increases. We encourage motorists to plan their routes in
advance when traveling to new destinations, be patient, and allow for
extra travel time.

4. Observe speed limits, including lower speeds in work zones. Stay
focused on the road and aware of changing traffic patterns caused by
construction. Please be cautious of the construction workers themselves,
who are often in close proximity to the highway — and at great risk.

5. Avoid distracted driving. When the entire family is traveling in the
car, the opportunity for distraction is multiplied. Remember to put the
phone down, and never text while driving. Be careful when eating on the
run, as lunch can be just as distracting as a cell phone. Buckle up or
secure pets in the back of the car.

6. Beware of crash taxes. Although they have been banned or limited in
several states, many cities, counties and fire districts will charge the
at-fault driver for emergency response costs in an auto accident. Fees
range from $100 to over $2,000 for response services. The average cost
is $200. A typical insurance policy does not cover the cost of a fire
truck responding to an accident.

7. Have a plan for roadside assistance. If an accident occurs, be wary
of unscrupulous towing companies. Have the phone number for your insurer
or a roadside assistance program ready so you know who to call. Some
towing companies take advantage of drivers after an accident and you
could find yourself facing excessive fees or complications recovering
your car from the tow yard.

8. Update your proof of insurance. Before hitting the road, make sure to
replace any expired insurance identification cards in the event you need
to prove you have insurance during a traffic stop.

Survey Methodology:

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll
on behalf of Property Casualty Insurers Association from June 8-10, 2016
among 2,025 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on
a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling
error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including
weighting variables, please contact Jessica Hanna, senior vice president jessica.hanna@pciaa.net

About The Harris Poll:

Over the last 5 decades, Harris Polls have become media staples. With
comprehensive experience and precise technique in public opinion
polling, along with a proven track record of uncovering consumers’
motivations and behaviors, The Harris Poll has gained strong brand
recognition around the world. The Harris Poll offers a diverse portfolio
of proprietary client solutions to transform relevant insights into
actionable foresight for a wide range of industries including health
care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial
services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer packaged
goods. Contact us for more information.

For more information on Summer Facts and Tips you can follow @PCIAA
on Twitter #HeadsUp or #SummerSafety

PCI is composed of nearly 1,000 member companies, representing the
broadest cross section of insurers of any national trade association.
PCI members write more than $183 billion in annual premium, 35 percent
of the nation’s property casualty insurance. Member companies write 42
percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 27 percent of the
homeowners market, 32 percent of the commercial property and liability
market and 34 percent of the private workers compensation market.


Brooke Kelley-Hunt