According to a troubling new study in the Journal of Transport & Health, owners of expensive vehicles are less likely to stop for pedestrians entering a crosswalk. Drivers, regardless of their vehicle’s value, are less likely to stop for men or pedestrians of color.
Researchers conducted this study in Las Vegas, but its findings coincide with a worsening national trend for pedestrian safety. While the study cites 2018 pedestrian fatality statistics because it was conducted when only those numbers were available, the numbers were even worse in 2019 (6,590 deaths) with a 5% increase over 2018 (6,283 deaths). Both years featured the highest number of pedestrian fatalities to date since 1990.
Broken down by race:
- The highest rate is among American Indians and Alaskan Natives with 3.99 per 100,000 population
- Blacks were second with 2.99 per 100,000 population
- Hispanics were third with 2.53 per 100,000 population
- Whites were fourth with 1.83 per 100,000 population
The study went on to point out that 80% of pedestrian deaths occurred in urban areas, such as here in Covington, New Orleans and the surrounding area. It added that drivers of expensive cars were also more likely to cut off pedestrians at corner crosswalks.
The methodology of the study
The designation of an expensive car was based on the make, sticker price, model year, and the appearance of the vehicle. The pedestrians used to collect data for the study featured a black man, a black woman, a white man, and a white woman. The four volunteers wore matching red t-shirts. Each attempted to use two crosswalks in the Las Vegas metro area. The study’s data gathering occurred between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. on weekends in June of 2019. The speed limit of the road was 35 miles per hour.
Hold the negligent accountable
Regardless of the make and model year of the vehicle is best to assume that the driver does not see you until they slow down and stop. Anecdotal evidence suggests that even making eye contact with the driver is no guarantee. Drivers of all motor vehicles are legally supposed to stop for pedestrians entering a crosswalk, so it is within the rights of crash victims and their families to hold drivers accountable. Those with questions about an injury should contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can analyze the circumstances to see if legal action is possible.