Expensive Car Owners Less Likely To Stop For Pedestrians

Mon 2nd Mar 2020

An American study has found a correlation between the price of a car and the likelihood of that car stopping for pedestrians.

Cars are required to stop by law at zebra crossings in America, but like in most countries that is not always the case, and in a study published in the Journal of Transport & Health the more expensive the car being driven up to a pedestrian crossing, the less likely it is to stop.

The study found that the average value of cars stopping at crossings was £4,560, with the value of cars that don’t stop higher at £6,180. For every increase in the value of the car, the likelihood of the driver stopping would drop by three per cent.

Dr Courtney Coughenour of the University of Nevada, which lead the research revealed that a lack of empathy from expensive car drivers could be driving the disparity: “A lower ability to interpret thoughts and feelings of others along with feelings of entitlement and narcissism may lead to a lack of empathy for pedestrians among higher SES [socioeconomic status] drivers which may result in lower yielding behaviors,” Dr Coughenour said.

“Drivers of higher cost cars may have been less accustomed to and ill prepared to yield for pedestrians, as higher SES is associated with lower rates of active transportation.”

Initially set up to find if there was a link between race and gender bias in pedestrian accident rates, the study’s findings may not surprise some who have encountered drivers of certain cars on UK roads. However, the survey also revealed that of the 500 cars surveyed only 129 stopped at crossings when they were legally obliged to.