Do Expensive Cars Hit Pedestrians More Than Less Expensive Ones?
We all should look out for, and avoid injuring, pedestrians. We all believe that we do just that. But do some of us look out for pedestrians more than others? And perhaps even worse…are people who drive expensive cars even less likely to look out for and avoid pedestrians?
The notion seems ridiculous. But according to one (albeit, admittedly, probably not super-scientific) study, there is some truth in that notion.
Study Looks to Who Avoids Pedestrians
In a recent test, researchers sent pedestrians into an intersection in a busy street in the city of Las Vegas. All the pedestrians generally went on the same route, in the same intersection. The researchers then looked at how many cars actually slowed down for, or looked for, the pedestrians, or at least, which cars seemed to make some sort of evasive movement to avoid hitting the pedestrians.
The researchers then looked at the types of cars that yielded (or didn’t try to yield) to the crossing pedestrians, and provided a book value (using internet research and car valuation tools) on the car based on its make and model. The study results were interesting: for every increase in the car’s value of $1,000, the vehicle had a 3% lower likelihood of slowing down for the pedestrians.
There was a slightly higher recognition for white, female pedestrians, but that did not affect the likelihood of a car yielding as much as the car’s value did.
Why Expensive Cars?
Of course, the next question is assuming that this study has any scientific value, why the researchers found what they did.
One theory is that nicer, more valuable cars, tend to have more safety features and collision avoidance features, which drivers are more likely to rely on. That reliance may relax the driver’s ordinary instinct to look out for pedestrians, or to be more alert to the vehicle’s surroundings.
Speed plays a factor as well; the more expensive a vehicle, the more likely it is that the vehicle can and is driven quickly. Higher speeds mean shorter and poorer reaction times by a driver.
There is also another factor at play: the size of the vehicle. Often, bigger cars or trucks are more expensive. The size of those vehicles may contribute to the driver simply not being able to see pedestrians. Larger SUVs even have what is known as a frontal blind spot where the car is so high, a pedestrian in front of the car is hidden from view.
This clearly is not a scientific study. In fact, there is even a lot of subjectivity in determining when a car is actually seeing, and yielding, to a pedestrian. Still, there may be some credence to the study, as we try to figure out just why it is that more and more pedestrians are being hit and injured by cars on our roadways.
Have you been hit by a car or injured as a pedestrian? Call the West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at Pike & Lustig today.