Exploring Race, Gender, and Class Bias as a Factor in Pedestrian Crashes

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

American Public Health Association Annual Conference




Pedestrian crashes are a major public health concern, as they are at their highest since 1996. Health disparities are present in pedestrian crashes. Between 2005-2013 people of color had the highest pedestrian fatality rates in thirty-five states. Males are disproportionately burdened, comprising 70% of fatalities. Driver bias related to race and gender are one understudied factor in these disparate rates. Class bias may be a factor in pedestrian crashes due to upper-class individuals being more likely to make unethical decisions. This study examined driver yielding bias with regards to race, gender, and class. Pedestrians (one black, one white female, one black, one white male) crossed the street at two mid-block crosswalks in Las Vegas. Pedestrians wore identical clothing and crossed the street in the same fashion. Time required to cross, number of cars that yielded and failed to yield, estimated cost of cars that yielded and failed to yield were recorded. An ANOVA was performed to compare groups. Results showed drivers yielded less frequently to male and black pedestrians. Ongoing analysis is examining the class bias in yielding behavior and will be completed and presented by the conference date. Study findings reveal that driver yielding behavior differed by race and gender and may be one contributing factor in disparate rates of pedestrian crashes. It is important to draw attention to such biases, as conversations are necessary to begin minimizing such behaviors. Additionally, urban planning policies should consider these findings and ensure a safe pedestrian infrastructure in communities of color.


Built environment; Transportation


Public Health | Urban Studies and Planning



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