Motorists and pedestrians in California have long held the stereotype of the person driving the fancy car who does not extend courtesy to other drivers and pedestrians. Now, there is a study that presents data that shows that this may actually be a pattern instead of just a misconception.
The study focused on different biases and factors that determine whether people stop for pedestrians. Drivers have different patterns of stopping for pedestrians based on the gender, race and perceived class of the person standing in the crosswalk. Drivers are less likely to stop for black and Hispanic pedestrians in crosswalks than they are for white pedestrians. This leads to higher rates of fatalities in these communities.
Interestingly enough, the rate of yielding to pedestrians fell the higher the value of the car. Drivers were more likely to stop when they were behind the wheel of a less expensive car. In fact, for every $1,000 increase in the value of the car, there was a three percent drop in the rate of yielding for a pedestrian. This perhaps proves that the decision to yield is class-based and some may not stop based on their perception that they are better than the person standing in the crosswalk waiting to cross the street. This leads to higher rates of injury.
Those who have been injured as pedestrians may have legal remedies that could entitle them to financial compensation for their injuries. A personal injury lawyer might be able to advise them of their legal rights if they have been struck by a car while crossing the street by a driver who would not yield. The attorney may be able to help those who have been hurt prove that the driver of the car was negligent for their failure to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian.