As road safety experts are working to determine what’s caused the recent spike in pedestrian deaths, a college student highlighted one potential reason that many of us likely were thinking, but wouldn’t say.
Mass Live published a letter to the editor Wednesday from Zach Bednarczyk, an American International College student from Springfield, Mass., in which he discusses the unnervingly high number of people he sees cross the street without paying attention.
“People almost seem to wander into the road with little to no care at all. It’s even worse with smartphones,” Bednarczyk’s letter reads. “On a college campus, I see it all the time.
“I understand as a pedestrian that the law is on your side if you get hit. But the law doesn’t prevent you from being killed or suffering permanent injuries if you are hit.”
Bednarczyk isn’t the first person to bring up this issue either. While many experts have noted the increase in distracted driving caused by smartphones could have a role in the spike in fatalities, some also have suggested pedestrians themselves being focused on mobile devices could be a factor.
Interestingly, he also talks about how some people simply feel it’s not their responsibility to look before they cross, as they have the right of way as soon as they step off the sidewalk. Many seemingly think because they won’t be legally at fault if they’re hit, they can do as they please and leave it up to the driver to avoid them.
But as Bednarczyk notes, not being at fault doesn’t mean you won’t still be seriously injured. The human body isn’t even designed to withstand the forces associated with a 35 mph crash while inside a vehicle, so imagine how it would fare if it was actually struck by a car moving at that speed.
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