When you’re walking around town, does it seem like some drivers treat you like you’re virtually invisible? Do you find yourself quick-stepping your way through crossings or jumping up on curbs to avoid being hit?
You aren’t alone. Most pedestrians know that you can’t always count on drivers to give you the right-of-way, even if they’re supposed to. A recent study shows that the odds a driver will yield to a pedestrian depend on three different factors: The gender of the walker, the race of the walker and the value of the driver’s car. In fact, of the three factors, it’s the car’s value that is most predictive.
Researchers noted that drivers were more inclined to yield to women over men and to whites over blacks. However, it stated, “Only the cost of the car was a significant predictor of driver yielding, meaning that the odds of yielding decreased around 3 percent when the car cost increased by one thousand dollars.”
How could the value of the driver’s car be tied to the driver’s willingness to obey traffic laws and yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk? Researchers theorize that the higher a driver’s social standing and the greater their wealth, the more likely they are to exhibit self-interested behavior and behave in a privileged, entitled fashion.
As a pedestrian, it’s important to realize that you aren’t safe from injuries caused by reckless or negligent drivers. Many drivers simply choose to ignore traffic laws because they find them troublesome and inconvenient. If an accident with a vehicle left you or your loved one injured, find out how you can hold the responsible party accountable for their actions.