Updated January. 14, 2014 06:43
One in four people fails to carefully watch for traffic when crossing crosswalks, which increases the risk of them getting into traffic accidents, a survey found.
The Korea Transportation Safety Authority conducted a survey of pedestrians practice at 10 crosswalks in the Seoul and Gyeonggi regions where traffic accidents occurred most frequently over the past three years. The agency said on Monday that the survey results revealed 25.1 percent of the 54,606 pedestrians failed to pay attention to surroundings, and crossed crosswalks keeping themselves off guard.
By the type of risky road-crossing behaviors, those who crossed crosswalks while chatting with colleagues numbered the most at 13.2 percent. Those who crossed watching their IT gadgets including smartphones or tablet PCs accounted for 4.3 percent, while those who were on the phone while crossing took up 2.43 percent. Those who recklessly cross crosswalks without pay attention to surroundings accounted for 2.1 percent.
As of 2012, 39.0 percent of "car to person" accidents in which cars hit pedestrians occurred while people were crossing crosswalks. This is about five times the number of accidents that occur while people walk on roads (7.8 percent) or along roadsides (7.1 percent).
Crossroads that saw traffic accidents most frequently over the past three years in the Greater Seoul region are intersection at Cheongnyangni Station in Dongdaemun district, street in front of the community center in Donam-dong in Seongbuk district, road in front of the police box in Nogosan in Mapo district, 11th exit at Gangnam Station in Gangnam district, and three-way intersection in front of Yeongdeungpo Station in Yeongdeungpo district in Seoul, and three-way street in front of Anyang Trade Center in Anyang City, Gyeonggi Province.
The traffic safety agency said, Even if it is a crosswalk, pedestrians should stop chatting and using smartphone, and check surroundings before crossing, because certain vehicles fail to follow stop sign or stop line.