Drivers of Expensive Cars Less Likely To Yield For Pedestrians, Study Finds


    ClickOnThis writes: Many of us know the old joke about BMWs and hemorrhoids. Now it seems that science can back it up. In a study perhaps deserving of an Ig Nobel, scientists found that the likelihood a driver will stop for a pedestrian is inversely proportional to the value of their vehicle. CNN reports: “A new study has found that drivers of flashy vehicles are less likely to stop and allow pedestrians to cross the road — with the likelihood they’ll slow down decreasing by 3% for every extra $1,000 that their vehicle is worth. Researchers from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas speculated that the expensive car owners ‘felt a sense of superiority over other road users’ and were less able to empathize with lowly sidewalk-dwellers. They came to this conclusion after asking volunteers to cross a sidewalk hundreds of times, filming and analyzing the responses by car drivers. Researchers used one white and one black man, and one white and one black woman — also finding that cars were more likely to yield for the white and female participants. Vehicles stopped 31% of the time for both women and white participants, compared with 24% of the time for men and 25% of the time for black volunteers. But the best predictor of whether a car would stop was its cost, researchers discovered. ‘Disengagement and 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 costly car owners, they theorized in the study.” The research has been published in the Journal of Transport and Health. The research “backed up a Finnish study published last month that found that men who own flashy vehicles are more likely to be ‘argumentative, stubborn, disagreeable and unempathetic,'” adds CNN. Read more of this story at Slashdot.


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