Bring An Equalizer to the Fight. Choose a Firm That Was Created to Advocate for Victims.

Are Pedestrian Crashes Color Blind?

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 crash. The 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 contact a San Diego injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.