Low-Income People of Color Bear Brunt of Rising Pedestrian Deaths

Nationwide, the number of pedestrians killed by drivers from 2010 to 2019 increased by 45% to 6,237 a year, the equivalent of at least 17 people dying per day, according to Smart Growth America, a nonprofit coalition of advocacy groups headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Of the 53,435 fatalities that occurred during the decade-long period, Black pedestrians were struck and killed at an 82% higher rate than non-Hispanic White people, according to the group’s March “Dangerous by Design 2021” report. The fatality rate in the nation’s lowest-income neighborhoods was nearly twice that of middle-income census tracts and nearly three times that of higher-income areas, the survey found.

“The lower a metro area’s median household income, the more dangerous its streets are likely to be for people walking,” the report stated. “This is unsurprising, given that low-income communities are less likely than higher-income communities to have sidewalks, marked crosswalks, and street design to support safer, slower speeds.”  Factors that may be contributing to the decade-long climb in pedestrian fatalities include cell phones distracting both drivers and pedestrians, especially through texting, and a shift in vehicle preference from cars to heavier light trucks and SUVs, which have the capability of inflicting more serious injuries, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.

But pedestrians sometimes don’t adhere to designated crosswalks, often resorting to jaywalking by crossing in the middle of the street rather than at an intersection. Experts say that many pedestrians also often try to beat oncoming cars or fail to yield to vehicles. Others simply aren’t paying attention to traffic.

To read the full article, visit:  https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2021/07/02/low-income-people-of-color-bear-brunt-of-rising-pedestrian-deaths