Saturday, March 19, 2022

the last book I ever read (Jessie Singer's There Are No Accidents, excerpt thirteen)

from There Are No Accidents: The Deadly Rise of Injury and Disaster―Who Profits and Who Pays the Price by Jessie Singer:

The implication of these analyses is that the rise in pedestrian fatalities is a matter of human errors. This is not true. Pedestrian deaths are rising—and rising inverse to the deaths of people in cars—because more people are driving larger, more powerful vehicles, such as SUVs, pickup trucks, and minivans. Average weight of a vehicle involved in a fatal crash rose by more than 390 pounds between 2000 and 2018. At the same time, the share of vehicles on the road that are SUVs has risen around 60 percent. Between 2009 and 2016, there was an 81 percent rise in the number of pedestrians killed by SUVs. One researcher estimated that between 2000 and 2018, if every SUV, pickup, and minivan on the road were instead a sedan, there would be 8,131 people walking around alive today.

Not only are people more likely to be crushed by these more powerful vehicles or be pulled under them instead of landing on the hood, but the height of these vehicles also reduces drivers’ ability to see pedestrians. The 2021 model of the Cadillac Escalade SUV, which weighs over 5,000 pounds, is almost six and a half feet tall. If children are sitting in front of that vehicle, they’re invisble unless they are more than ten feet away. The number of children killed in accidents caused by this lack of visibility—when a driver moving forward in a parking lot or driveway runs someone over, what is not being called a “frontover” accident—has risen 89 percent in the last decade.

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