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Rhode Island Personal Injury Attorney / Blog / Personal Injury / Do More Expensive Cars Hit Pedestrians More Often? One Study Said Yes.

Do More Expensive Cars Hit Pedestrians More Often? One Study Said Yes.


Wouldn’t it be helpful if you could just look at a car and predict whether or not it was more likely to ignore pedestrians, and thus, present a greater danger of hitting pedestrians? Well, nobody has a crystal ball. But believe it or not, there was a study done that did try to predict what kind of cars were more likely to observe and slow down for pedestrians in the roadway.

Study Looked at Pedestrians and Drivers

The study was conducted in Las Vegas, an area that does tend to have a lot of pedestrian traffic. The study gathered volunteers to act as pedestrians, crossing busy Las Vegas intersections. All the pedestrians would cross the streets, and the researchers observed the vehicles as best they could, to see which cars stopped for, or at least, saw and monitored, the pedestrians.

The overall results were quite dismal. Only about a quarter of all cars actually slowed or stopped, to allow the pedestrians to cross the roadway. Interestingly, cars and drivers seemed to be more willing to yield for pedestrians who were both female and white, although the increase in yield rates was not very significant.

The Value of the Cars

But there was one thing, one factor, which did go a long way to determining whether a car was more or less likely to yield for pedestrians: The price or value of the vehicle itself.

With every car, researchers did their best to estimate the fair market value of the vehicle, as best they could by just casually observing. They measured the current value, based on age, year, or condition, not the value of the cars as they would be when new, off the lot.

As the value of a vehicle went up by $1,000, the likelihood that the car would yield to, observe, or stop for pedestrians, went down by about 3%.

Why the Decrease in Pedestrian Recognition?

Certainly, this was hardly a scientific study, and there was a lot of subjectivity in evaluating whether a car observed a pedestrian, or took measures to slow down or yield to the pedestrians. But the overall conclusion was not in doubt: more expensive cars, according to the study, paid less attention to pedestrians.

There are only theories as to why this is. Perhaps drivers of more expensive cars are more inclined to depend on in-car assistive anti pedestrian technology, and thus, have fallen out of the habit of observing pedestrians.

Or, more expensive cars may simply go faster, and thus, provide less time for drivers to see and yield to pedestrians. Or maybe it is the perception that drivers of more expensive cars are more self-involved, or busier (including being distracted in the car), all stereotypes that perhaps bear out some truth in these studies.

Injured as a pedestrian? Contact our Rhode Island personal injury lawyers at Robert E. Craven & Associates at 401-453-2700 today.




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