Drivers of expensive cars less likely to brake for pedestrians

A UNLV study found that drivers of higher-priced cars were less likely to stop for a pedestrian in a half-block crosswalk with flashing lights than a driver in a less expensive vehicle. (Jeff Scheid / Las Vegas Review-Journal) @jeffscheid Bicyclists ride along State Route 159 in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in Las Vegas on Tuesday, August 19, 2014. (Chase Stevens / Las Vegas Review -Journal) If you drive an expensive vehicle, chances are you’re less polite to pedestrians.
According to a UNLV study that found that drivers of higher priced cars were less likely than drivers of less expensive vehicles to stop for a pedestrian at a half-block crosswalk with flashing lights.
The study found that the odds of a driver stopping for a pedestrian fell 3 percent for every $ 1,000 increase in the price of the vehicle.
“People who had more wealth were more likely to exhibit unethical behavior,” said Courtney Coughenour, a professor of public health at UNLV and lead author of the study.
Although some of the car brands one considers “expensive” were seen in the study, other high-priced vehicles also prevailed, Coughenour said.
“They were expensive cars, but they were like a Toyota Tundra or something like that, more expensive,” he said. “There were some Audis and Lexuses, and those types of cars, but there were definitely fewer of them.”
The research team filmed research assistants crossing the street in front of 461 cars, the values ​​of which were evaluated using the Kelley Blue Book price categories.
The study was conducted at two unnamed mid-block crosswalks near schools in Las Vegas areas with median household incomes between $ 30,000 and $ 37,000. A white man and woman and an African American man and woman, all in their 20s, served as pedestrians.
Although drivers of more expensive vehicles fared worse, most drivers were not very aware of pedestrians, according to the study. Only 28 percent of all drivers stopped to wait for pedestrians.
“That was probably the biggest idea about this,” he said. “The overall performance was quite low, which is not good for overall pedestrian safety. I was a little surprised at how low it was. ”
Coughenour said that both motorists and pedestrians can work to improve the situation.
The research team said their findings are important to public health, as even low-speed collisions can be fatal to pedestrians.
The risk of serious injury to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle is 10 percent at 16 mph, 25 percent at 23 mph, 50 percent at 31 mph, 75 percent at 39 mph, and 90 percent at 46 mph, according to the AAA Traffic Foundation Security.
Figures from the Nevada Department of Public Safety show that 2017 was the deadliest year for pedestrians in the state, with 90 deaths. The number fell to 82 in 2018, the first state decline in nine years, and to 70 in 2019.
To maintain that trend, Coughenour said, “drivers must be aware that they legally have to give way.”
“It is difficult to say if they are not yielding because they do not know the laws or because they do not want to yield,” he said. “More studies are needed to examine that. Until then, the most important thing is driver education ”.
State Route 159 work
Crack sealing on a 9-mile stretch of State Route 159 leading to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area will affect traffic for several months.
The work began last week and runs through May 14, according to the Nevada Department of Transportation.
“The crack filling prevents further deterioration of the road for a smoother and safer driving experience,” said NDOT spokesman Tony Illia. “It is a cost-effective maintenance solution that extends the life cycle of the road.”
The work will be carried out in 1-mile increments from Blue Diamond Road to the Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center between 6 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday
Standard bearers and a pilot car operation will be used to escort motorists through active construction zones.
The trail parking areas within the work zones will be closed while signaling operations are active. Bicyclists must also follow all applicable traffic laws, including arresting flaggers.
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