Most UK drivers can't identify pedestrian crossings

Latest Admiral survey shows some interesting data

2y ago

UK has got some pretty confusing pedestrian crossing names, Puffin, Pelican, Toucan, Pegasus and the good 'ol zebra, feeling confused yet? Well, worry not so are we as it turns most UK drivers are unable to distinguish between the lot.

Admirals survey found out that 92% of drivers don't know what a Toucan crossing is (it's the one with bike lights as well as pedestrian lights) while 79% cant recognise a Pelican crossing which is the most common crossing controlled by traffic lights.

What's perhaps more shcoking is that reported 25% of drivers can't recognize the basic zebra crossing. Pedestrians aren't without a fault either, the survey reports that more than 2 out of 5 pedestrians don't know that the flashing green man means ' do not cross' while staggering 1 in 5 thinks it means they have plenty of time left to cross.

Third of pedestrians reported to have had a near miss on a crossing, of those 19% admitted they hadn't looked properly before entering the crossing and 10% reported they were distracted by their phone with further 10% said they ignored the lights all together. Remaining 10% blamed the driver.

On the drivers side 50% admitted to running an amber light and 25% of drivers admitted to having a near miss with a pedestrian. Among these who had a near miss 50% said the pedestrian stepped in front of them without looking, while a third admitted to not noticing the pedestrian. Shockingly 13% of the drivers who had near-miss confessed to being distracted by their phone.

This leads to some grim statistics; 5,500 pedestrians are killed or seriously injured every year, this equals to roughly 1 pedestrian killed and 15 injured every single day. Sabine Williams head of motor at Admiral said:

“What’s worrying about these findings is how little both drivers and pedestrians understand about the designated crossings and what the rules are for safely using them. More needs to be done to make sure all road users know what their responsibilities are when it comes to crossing so we can see a reduction in the number of accidents taking place.”

“In a media-led society we’re also urging pedestrians as well as drivers to stay vigilant in and around the road and avoid life altering distractions. No text message or tweet is more important that remembering the green cross code.”

A quick guide to types of crossings

Zebra: Stripes on the road usually accompanied by amber flashing beacons

Pelican: Crossings with light signals facing drivers & signal facing pedestrians on the opposite side of the road.

Puffin: Like Pelican but without pedestrian facing lights, instead they have the green/red light on the box on which you press the button to cross.

Toucan: Crossings designed for pedestrians and cyclists often adjacent to biking paths.

Pegasus: Crossing designed for horses with a red/green horse symbol and higher mounted push button.

What do you think? Have you had a near-miss? Let us know below!

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Comments (4)

  • "2 out of 5 pedestrians don't know that the flashing green man means ' do not cross' "

    Who thought that Green... flashing or other wise... should mean do not cross? I know in Asia green lights humorously, mean stop. But that's only because odds are someone is illegally running the read light, it still technically means go.

    No wonder the English win best drivers in the world studies... they have to navigate the Worst traffic laws in the World, and hope to make it home alive.

      2 years ago
  • You English are part of the reason I failed my first attempt at the written exam for my German drivers license. My German was not good enough to take the test in German, but English was available. However I had No clue what to do at a St Andrews Cross when lights are flashing. I know Germans are into some weird things, but could not imagine what that had to do with a driving exam. Every American I've asked the question to has been equally baffled, although a handful once I tell them at least see how it is

      2 years ago
  • In my part of canada the signal for pedestrians is a white person walking. Once it's unsafe the icon changes to a red flashing countdown timer followed by a full stop. Yet there are still people who think that 4 seconds is enough to cross.

      2 years ago
  • Replace in the title “can’t identify” with “ignore” and it is more factually correct

      2 years ago