Every driver should know that they must yield to pedestrians, especially when pedestrians are attempting to cross the street at a marked crosswalk. Unfortunately, too many motorists fail to do this, and they wind up causing a catastrophic accident.
And according to a recent study, people driving expensive cars are less likely to stop for pedestrians.
The study found that for every $1,000 increase in the value of a vehicle, a driver was 3 percent less likely to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.
Also unnerving is the fact that only 28 percent of the 461 vehicles observed in the study stopped in the first place. Researchers also found that drivers were more likely to stop for pedestrians who were female and white. Drivers stopped less frequently for black pedestrians and male pedestrians. These findings aligned with reports showing that men are twice as likely to be fatally struck as pedestrians, and Caucasians are the racial group least likely to be in a fatal pedestrian accident.
What’s behind these numbers?
It is important to put this information into context, though, as there were some limitations. This particular study was relatively small, and researchers conducted it at just two crosswalks in an urban setting. They also did not follow up with drivers to determine why they did not stop.
That said, the results of this study were consistent with other studies examining the people most likely to cause or be killed in a pedestrian accident.
So, what exactly makes a person less likely to stop for a pedestrian? This study suggests that perhaps narcissism, entitlement and bias against certain people could be behind these decisions.
But the fact is that every pedestrian and every motorist has the right to be safe on the road. Any person who fails to follow traffic laws or assumes the rules do not apply to them can and should be held accountable when their actions cause a crash.