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Class bias one reason why drivers may not yield to pedestrians

The Journal of Transport & Health has published the results of a study analyzing the various factors that can influence a driver’s decision to yield or not yield to a pedestrian. Drivers in New York should know that 6,283 pedestrians were killed in the U.S. in 2018.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which found the above statistic, also found that male pedestrians are twice as likely to be killed as female. Racial minorities saw a higher fatality rate. In descending order, the highest fatality rates were among American Indians/Alaska Natives, blacks and Hispanics, followed by whites.

The study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, confirmed that drivers yield more for women and whites than for men and racial minorities. Researchers also believe that class bias plays a role. Those with more expensive vehicles were less likely to yield. The chances that a driver would yield fell 3%, researchers calculated, with every $1,000 increase in a car’s value. The reason may be that drivers in a higher social class look down on pedestrians.

There are limitations to the study. All data was taken from field experiments at two crosswalks in the Las Vegas area, and drivers were not asked personally why they failed to yield.

Motor vehicle crashes can result in serious injuries for pedestrians, but if the victims were not to blame for a crash, then they may be able to file a personal injury claim against the liable driver. A successful claim might reimburse victims for medical expenses, income lost during their physical recovery and pain and suffering. It may be wise to have a lawyer assist with the claim. Personal injury lawyers may have a network of third parties like crash investigators to help strengthen a case.