Are Pedestrian Crashes Color Blind?
Some drivers are less likely to stop for black pedestrians, according to
a recent study. The findings help explain why the pedestrian fatality
rates for individuals of color are significantly higher than whites.
Pedestrian Crash Data
Fatal pedestrian crashes are on the rise. In fact, a pedestrian is killed
approximately every two hours and injured every eight minutes in a traffic
risk for being involved in a pedestrian accident is higher for certain pedestrians. According to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC), pedestrian fatality rates for black and
Latino men are more than double the rate for white men.
Study Reveals Racial Bias May Influence Pedestrian Accidents
To find out if racial bias plays a role in pedestrian fatality rates,
researchers at the University of Nevada examined driver yielding behaviors at midblock crosswalks in low- and high-income neighborhoods located in
Las Vegas, Nevada. One white and one black female student crossed at a
midblock crosswalk on a multilane road in a low-income and a high-income
neighborhood. Trained observers recorded the number of cars that passed
in the nearest lane before yielding while the pedestrian waited near the
crosswalk at the curb, and the number of cars that passed through the
crosswalk with the pedestrian in the same half of the roadway.
Overall, drivers yielded to a pedestrian waiting at the curb just 51.5
percent of the time in the high-income neighborhood and 70.7 percent of
the time at the low-income crosswalk. The study also revealed that drivers
yielded less to the black pedestrian while she was crossing the roadway.
Specifically, at the high-income crosswalk, significantly more motorists
drove through the crosswalk while the black pedestrian was already in
the road. The researchers subsequently concluded that bias in driver yielding
behavior may be one influencing factor in higher rates of pedestrian crashes
for people of color.
California Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit
As San Diego injury lawyers, the results of the study are concerning. It
is imperative that drivers yield for
all pedestrians. In crashes where the vehicle was traveling 30 mph, the victims
do not survive 50 percent of the time. When pedestrians are struck at
40 mph, 90 percent of the crashes are fatal.
Under California law, drivers must yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian
crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked
crosswalk at an intersection. The driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian
in a crosswalk must also exercise all due care, which may include reducing
the speed of the vehicle or taking any other action needed to safeguard
the safety of the pedestrian. If a negligent driver fails to follow the
law and strikes a pedestrian, the victim may have a personal injury claim.
If you or someone you love has suffered serious injury in a California
pedestrian crash, don’t hesitate to
a San Diego injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free