A number of recent studies seem to support a nationwide trend of blaming pedestrians for the accidents that kill them. Earlier this month, researchers at the University Of Maryland released the results of a study which showed an increase in the number of pedestrians killed while wearing headphones. No prizes for guessing the subliminal message here – more pedestrians are now being killed because they are distracted while walking.
Distracted Walking Accidents
According to the University of Maryland research, 116 pedestrians wearing headphones were killed in accidents between 2000 and 2009. During this period of time, there were a total of 47, 700 pedestrian fatalities. The number of pedestrians wearing headphones was about .3% of the total number of pedestrians killed during this period of time.
No one would consider 116 deaths a small number. However, it’s important to look at this data in its context. The remaining pedestrian fatalities that numbered more than 47,500 were caused by other factors.
Researchers would do well to study what killed the majority of pedestrians during this period of time, or why there has been an increase in the number of pedestrian fatalities in the year 2011, instead of blaming pedestrians for all ills that plague them.
Other studies have also attempted to pick up on the same line of thinking. A new study by the Stony Brook University indicates that pedestrians, who are talking on the cell phone while walking, are likely to veer off course, increasing the risks of an accident.
Studies like these do not contribute in any meaningful way to pedestrian safety. Most pedestrians are aware that in any accident involving them, they have a much higher risk of being killed or seriously injured, which actually encourages safer walking practices.