Automotive Critic Blames Pedestrian Deaths on "Negligent Pedestrians"

New stats showing an increase in pedestrian deaths from automobile accidents have brought attention to urban design issues. But the Wall St. Journal's automotive critic places the blame squarely on the pedestrians themselves.

Sarah Goodyear at Grist was gobsmacked reading critic Dan Neil's recent review of the 2012 Volvo S60 T5 AWD, when he took a detour to rail against pedestrian behavior, saying that some of L.A.'s walkers seem to be "daring me to hit them".

From Neil's review: "The presumption is that pedestrians are defenseless against automobiles and must be protected. Even so, the feds' safety statistics suggest that pedestrians are more often to blame in these incidents. In 2009, nearly 40% of pedestrian fatalities were caused by pedestrians' improper crossing or walking/playing/working in the roadway, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration."

Goodyear comments: "...when people talk about pedestrian behavior, so often the tone is the one that the WSJ's Neil takes-one of sarcastic aggravation at those crazy people who actually want to walk somewhere-or, more contemptibly still, actually have to walk somewhere because they are too poor to travel in the style to which he is accustomed. The 'walking have-nots,' Neil calls them."

Full Story: If you’re so happy in your car, why are you so mad at the people walking?


building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.