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sigma6d t1_j5levdo wrote

Current Affairs Podcast: Why Are So Many Pedestrians Getting Killed in America? >Angie Schmitt is a transportation writer and planner whose book Right of Way: Race, Class, and the Silent Epidemic of Pedestrian Deaths in America examines the shocking and disturbing growth in pedestrian deaths on the streets of the United States. After declining for 20 years, pedestrian deaths began climbing drastically again around 2010.

>These gruesome tragedies are preventable—in Europe, deaths are declining rather than increasing—and in Angie's book, she discusses all of the factors contributing to the problem. These include:

>The proliferation of big trucks and SUVs with huge blind spots and killer front ends

>Gentrification pushing poor people into the suburbs, where not having a car means having to walk to work across busy six-lane roads and take your life in your hands

>The lack of any serious US national investment in making our roads safe and laws written by the oil industry (for instance, many state constitutions prohibit using gas tax money to build sidewalks)

>A lack of good public transit

>A culture of "blaming the pedestrian" that sees accidents as a result of walkers' foolishness rather than bad planning

>The fact that the victims of these accidents tend to be poor people, old people, and people of color, whose lives are less valued and who navigate worse infrastructure

>Angie's book is filled with important information about an overlooked crisis. It's a serious issue of racial justice and shows the American class divide at its ugliest: rich people in giant trucks mow down poor people of color who have no choice but to dodge traffic. It's a dystopian tragedy, made all the worst by how avoidable it is. Instead of ensuring that everyone could navigate the built environment safely, America has shifted blame onto victims (as we can see in the concept of "jaywalking," which punishes pedestrians for crossing streets even when there are no crosswalks nearby). Angie lays out why we need to care more about this injustice and how we can address it at relatively little expense.

The Silent Epidemic of Pedestrian Deaths in America

Right of Way: Race, Class, and the Silent Epidemic of Pedestrian Deaths in America

You wouldn’t download a car

Crash Not Accident >Before the labor movement, factory owners would say "it was an accident" when American workers were injured in unsafe conditions.

>Before the movement to combat drunk driving, intoxicated drivers would say "it was an accident" when they crashed their cars.

>Planes don’t have accidents. They crash. Cranes don’t have accidents. They collapse. And as a society, we expect answers and solutions.

>Traffic crashes are fixable problems, caused by dangerous streets and unsafe drivers. They are not accidents. Let’s stop using the word "accident" today.

Does news coverage of traffic crashes affect perceived blame and preferred solutions? Evidence from an experiment

Biden’s Infrastructure Bill Nixes The Auto Industry Propaganda Term “Car Accident”