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Why Did Pedestrian Deaths Go Up Over 50% Since 2009?
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The huge increase (over 50%) in pedestrian fatalities from being struck by vehicles over the last decade has occurred at the same time as new cars have increasingly become equipped with all sorts of innovative electronic safety gear to keep drivers from, say, running over pedestrians.

The car insurance companies must have data on which new safety gizmos actually make drivers and pedestrians safer and which somehow make things worse. Does anybody out there know what the insurance companies know? Do these new whizbang auto-braking systems and the like make things better or worse?

Some of the bounce back is due to people driving more than they did in the economically depressed year of 2009, but still … This is a trend that should go down.

I’m also wondering if the enormous increase in pedestrian deaths from 2014 to 2016, the same years as the 24% increase in homicides nationally, is another Ferguson Effect of cops feeling unloved and thus spending more time in the donut shop rather than out ticketing speeders.

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  1. Tiny Duck says:

    I would chalk it up to old white people driving when they are a danger to tens elves and others

    Also white kids on drugs and alcohol. white kids are heavy substance abusers for some treason

    I do t know why this is

    I also don’t kniw why white Christian males commit the most violent crime

  2. Danindc says:

    Texting while driving has become ubiquitous over the last few years. That has to be the main reason.

  3. Kronos says:

    Smartphones. Is there any way to disaggregate that data by sex?

  4. anon[338] • Disclaimer says:

    cell phones

    • Replies: @JosephB
  5. O'Really says:

    The uptick also coincides with the adoption of Vision Zero initiatives in major American cities.

    File this under “consequences, unintended”

  6. Dan Hayes says:


    In NYC there are iphone using pedestrians so immersed in the internet world that they are often dispatched from the real world!

    • Replies: @Onebelowall
  7. shermy says:

    In So. Cal, pedestrian bodies seem to be piling up thanks to drunk Latino’s in old pickup trucks or SUV’s who, after the initial smack, tend to not stop to see what happened. Sometimes they get caught later, sometimes not.

    Since their autos of choice tend to be older models, the new pedestrian saving features (earliest versions available around 2015) aren’t available.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  8. JimDandy says:

    Decriminalization of weed, texting, social media addiction…

    • Replies: @Bubba
  9. Buzz Mohawk says: • Website

    How many of those drivers and/or pedestrians were staring at their phones?

  10. DaKine says:

    It is hard to disagree with stating it is cell phones.

    Though my hobby horse is that I think crosswalks are fundamentally dangerous, especially for slower people. They are generally at the most dangerous part of the road – at the intersection. At the point at which there are a lot of cars executing their most complicated maneuvers.

    I could see investing in all kinds of fancy pedestrian systems backfiring where both sides of it rely on the system rather than judgment, being careful, and going slower. That is typical of many traffic control measures in the west, they tend to just increase speed.

    Check out how to cross a street in Vietnam…

  11. Possibilities:

    Smart phones. iPhone came out in 2007 and adoption increased rapidly for almost a decade. That distracts both drivers and pedestrians.

    Legal weed in ~2014 starting in the west coast. Looking at the chart, there’s a V dip around the recession years that could be due to less driving. But the real spike above 2007 levels started in 2014.

    Ticketing may be a possibility. I haven’t seen much enforcement outside of the interstates. I haven’t anecdotally heard someone getting a speeding ticket or other infraction in a long time.

    It would be interesting to see the breakdown by age, region, car type, etc.

  12. prosa123 says:

    I doubt the police have Ferguson’ed themselves into the donut shops when it comes to traffic law enforcement. Traffic fines are a major revenue source in most places.

    Another thought: more vehicles today are pickups and SUV’s with higher front ends. I suspect – but do not know for certain – that such vehicles are deadlier for pedestrians, who are less likely to be flung onto the hood.

    • Replies: @Oddsbodkins
    , @Adam Smith
  13. prosa123 says:

    Seemingly minor increases in vehicle speeds have a major effect on pedestrian death rates. According to the AAA Foundation on Traffic Safety:

    The average risk of death for a pedestrian reaches 10% at an impact speed of 23 mph, 25% at 32 mph, 50% at 42 mph, 75% at 50 mph, and 90% at 58 mph.

    • Replies: @Wilkey
    , @Paleo Liberal
  14. pae says: • Website

    The full report is here

    If you look at Figure 17 (page 22), NYC and Chicago fatalities dipped from 2015 to 2017.

    Per Figure 6 (page 15), it does appear that nighttime fatalities are increasing at a faster rate

    In general, it seems to be a bigger problem in sunbelt states (makes sense as you’d have people walking year round) so population growth/SUV growth in those states could be a culprit.

  15. Wilkey says:

    Many people suspect that the rise in pedestrian deaths is due to distraction caused by the use of smart phones by pedestrians and drivers. That is certainly well timed to explain the increase in deaths since 2009, but it doesn’t explain why pedestrian deaths fell so rapidly after 1990.

    Two possibilities:

    1) Elimination of speed limit laws. Congress imposed a 55 mph limit in 1973, allowed it to go up to 65 mph (in “rural areas”) in 1988, then eliminated it completely in 1995. Raising the speed limit would have probably had the effect of diverting traffic from surface roads to interstates, which would mean less traffic for pedestrians to deal with.

    2) Safety improvements. Increasing numbers of sidewalks, crosswalks, crossing lights, etc. probably helped. Part of the Americans with Disabilities Act (passed in 1990) required making sidewalks and crosswalks easier to navigate for the handicapped. My own personal sense of things is that sidewalks and street corners are far safer today than they were in my childhood.

    But my sense since the Great Recession is that American roads are far closer to full capacity (or beyond it) than they’ve ever been, at least since I’ve been driving. I could be wrong, but I don’t recall Obama prioritizing highway construction, and in pretty much every city I visit nowadays interstates are stuffed with traffic, sometimes regardless of the time of day. That means that large numbers of drivers are probably switching back to surface roads for their daily commutes, which would increase the number of accidents involving pedestrians.

    Another possibility is the rapid increase in the homeless population pretty much all over the country. I would wager that a fair percentage of pedestrian victims are homeless. They’re often crazy, usually intoxicated or high, and aren’t known for being situationally aware or using good judgment.

    Then of course there’s increased social acceptance of alcohol and drug use, distraction caused by smart phones, increased concentration of populations in metro areas, and ever more people riding around on bikes and scooters (are those deaths considered “pedestrian”?)

  16. Wilkey says:

    Seemingly minor increases in vehicle speeds have a major effect on pedestrian death rates. According to the AAA Foundation on Traffic Safety

    Depends on where you’re increasing the speed limit. Per my other comment, raising speed limits on controlled-access highways, where pedestrian traffic is generally forbidden, probably has the effect of diverting traffic from surface streets, which would reduce pedestrian incidents.

  17. prosa123 says:

    Bicycle deaths are counted separately.

    There’s a big problem in NYC these days with bicycle-pedestrian collisions.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  18. Purely anecdotal, but I see lots of persons-living-with-vaginas driving around LA with left hand on the wheel and right hand extended horizontally supporting the reclining glass slab of distraction, mouths rapidly working in conversation with others likely in the same aspect. Has to make it hard to react quickly to the drug-addled vagrants staggering through the crosswalks (when they use them).

    When I moved to South Korea for a couple of years starting in 2013, I was strongly reminded to look both ways before crossing the street, even when the light was in my favor.

    • Replies: @mmack
    , @DW
  19. Whiskey says: • Website

    Steve watch the local news. Most deaths are caused by drunken illegals speeding. See it day after day on the news from home securlity cameras.

    Zero prison time because vthey are illegals. Heck most just go back to Mexico and re enter under a different name.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
    • Replies: @TWS
  20. Navigation apps will readily direct you to leave the highway to rapidly fly through residential areas to shave two minutes off your arrival time – this can’t be good for your neighborhood dog walkers and joggers.

    Yet they still haven’t added the option to plan your route to avoid travel through high crime (Basketball American) areas.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  21. It’s interesting to look at the increase of two thousand in pedestrian deaths, and the correlation with increased iPhone use, and then consider something.

    There are renewed demands for a ban on ‘assault’ rifles. Which cause more deaths: assault rifles or iPhones?

    • Replies: @El Dato
  22. Hopscotch says:

    With behavioral data, there is typically one peculiar driver in a trend, more often based on a “one of these things is not like the other” Power Law than a broad macro effect. So let’s start there…

    Okay, Phoenix, AZ is kind of weird. Ferguson Effect hotspots like Chicago and Philly look tame.

    Glancing over the rest of the report, this looks interesting.

    Additionally, Figure 6 says the bulk of the increase in pedestrian deaths occurred at night, with Figure 10 saying the pedestrian victims are noticeably more drunk than the drivers.

    Hypothesis #1: From 2009 onward, there has been an explosion in subprime consumer credit, along with faster, zippier cars. This has put drivers into cars that would be otherwise too irresponsible to own them outright. The primary beneficiaries of cheap credit have been young Hispanic drivers, who have in turn, run over drunk, roadside Hispanic pedestrians. Almost like, The Fast and the Furious: ¡Subprime and Tipsy!

    Hypothesis #2: This could be easily answered in one hour, considering that each accident can be tied to a lat-long pair, which can be tied to a census tract. The fact this was drawn out into a meandering report, makes me think that Hypothesis #1 is very true and Boomercon Sunbelt governors are less than eager to draw attention to it.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @El Dato
  23. MEH 0910 says:
    @Tiny Duck

    I would chalk it up to old white people driving when they are a danger to tens elves and others

    Santa drew first blood.

  24. Baby boomers driving-while-decrepit likely correlates with this increase.

    • Agree: Redneck farmer
    • Troll: jim jones
    • Replies: @Ray Huffman
  25. @Hopscotch

    People getting subprime auto loans tend to be subprime drivers?

  26. @Laurence Whelk

    The Israeli app Waze is super herky-jerky about telling you TURN LEFT, NO TURN RIGHT, NO LEFT in order to shave 15 seconds of your expected time of arrival. It’s turned traditionally quiet streets in West L.A. into speedways.

    Plus, somebody at Unit 8201 or whatever the Israeli NSA is called probably can look up everywhere you’ve gone. Just in case that ever proves useful to the government of Israel or its friends abroad.

  27. Veracitor says:

    Another problem is counter-productive deliberate road destruction by local authorities participating in the leftist war on mobility. Claiming to have pedestrians’ interests at heart (despite the statistics Steve noticed which prove the opposite) and hiding behind the propaganda terms “traffic calming measures” and “road diets,” deluded officials have been closing traffic lanes, putting speed bumps in streets and obstacles in the middle of intersections to force “lateral deviations” (which means “swerving around huge planters in the middle of the street”), and deliberately un-synchronizing traffic signals. The “traffic calming devices” (huge planters and so-forth) hide pedestrians from drivers’ views until it’s too late, and the other measures make drivers tired and angry, aching from all the induced bumping and swerving, so they speed down the stretches between obstacles in frantic attempts to make up the time leeched away by the passive-aggressive local road impairments.

    We could save thousands of pedestrians per year by making it easier for drivers to avoid them, using clear sightlines and designated crossings, but instead our local officials are eager to mix cars and pedestrians by inviting people to bumble into the street at artificial pinch points, hiding behind planters and suchlike until they step in front of a moving car which is too close for its driver so see a pedestrian and stop before hitting him or her.

    • Replies: @Charon
    , @Logan
    , @Alden
  28. @prosa123

    Yes, but that trend started much earlier.

  29. El Dato says:

    Yup. It’s amazing how completely impossible it is to do those two things at time. Holding a conversation works but anything for which you need eyes even for a few hundred ms is dangerous.

    • Replies: @jb
    , @Noman
  30. El Dato says:

    Figure 17 should be per capita otherwise it’s just noise drawn using pretty bars. I regret the day when bar graphs started be become effortlessly mainstream.

    There should probably also be several diagrams, one per different kind of capitum.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
  31. anon[757] • Disclaimer says:

    I dunno exactly, but a list of name and age and location and time of accident of both victims and perps would suggest an answer pretty quickly.

    As far as texting, etc., my iPhone won’t operate in a moving vehicle unless I specify I am not driving. Not that someone couldn’t lie, but I think it would reduce smartphone use while driving.

    Plus, I see Hispanics riding bicycles against traffic on beater bikes frequently. Not that they are dying like flies, but it suggests multiple influences.

    As far as insurance companies, they would see a spike in BI claims, if the pedestrian deaths are caused by insured drivers.

    And all those Uber users would be doing more walking, since they don’t have cars with them.

    Just following local news, traffic deaths seem to be associated with the usual stuff. Weekend nights, drunks, teenagers, motorcycles, and similar.

    People with normal commutes and newer vehicles mostly don’t seem to die.

  32. @Danindc

    I would say texting while walking as well.

    • Replies: @Thirdtwin
  33. @DaKine

    I thought you were going to post this

  34. @Danindc

    And also texting while walking.

  35. Simon says:
    @Redneck farmer

    Ear buds were certainly a factor in my case. Around ten years ago, while I was walking to my local subway stop in Manhattan on my way to work, two cars collided in the street, and one of them was forced up onto the sidewalk and knocked me down. It’s possible I could have jumped out of the way, but I’d barely heard the crash and failed to react in time, because I’d been blithely listening to a podcast on my iPod Shuffle — most likely Hugh Hewitt’s radio show. (Maybe that’s what I deserved for listening to someone so piously cuckish, but I’m a longtime fan.)

    A crowd gathered as I lay on the sidewalk, the woman driver who’d caused the accident burst into tears, an ambulance arrived, and I got in, but not being litigious I refused treatment and ended up stoically limping to the subway, mainly feeling embarrassed. A decade later, my ankle has still not entirely recovered, but I’m pleased, at least, not to have qualified as one of the Pedestrian Deaths included in the chart.

  36. Anonymous[684] • Disclaimer says:

    Absolutely no doubt whatsoever that it is due to idiots using smartphones whilst on the hoof.
    The sight of morons bent double shuffling obliviously along the sidewalk, blocking allcomers is truly a bane of modern life.

    • Agree: jim jones
  37. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    Our local steezers seem to be going to what white Johnson Countyites drive-Honda and Toyota sedans and small SUVs-only a few model years older and sometimes with their last name in Old English letters on the back window.

    The desirable semi-old pickups either died from Obama’s clunker junker program or were self-deported to Mexico since Chevies in the nineties could be decomputerized with an after market Edebrock manifold, Holley carb and Mallory distributor so the shops in Olde Mexico could fix them.

    Older squarebodys and 67-72 Chevys are in too much demand from street truck builders and lowriders. Ocasionally white rural guys restore them stock looking but with an LS swap.

  38. Here we go again with the graphs that don’t start the y-axis at 0. The only reason to show it this way (not you, Steve, whoever made it) is to scare people silly or show the problem being almost “solved” by 2009 (all hail Øb☭ma!). Yes, I, and most readers here, will look at the y-axis values soon enough, but many people don’t like numbers – they will just look at the shape of the thing.

    Anyway, yes on the touch-screen devices, whether in the hands of the drivers or the pedestrians. BTW, it’s not just the big, bright screen, but the difficulty of pushing virtual “buttons” on that screen vs. pushing actual, real buttons on an old “brick” or flip phone that is a tremendous distraction. You have to use BOTH HANDS some times.

    I don’t think the SUV and huge-ass P/U truck craze is the reason, as it seems they’ve been ubiquitous for 2 decades, not just 1. The gas going way down after the summer of ’08 did probably increase their sales since then, though.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  39. Not making this up…

    In Los Angeles, circa 2014, at the crossroads of Sunset and Vine (a very busy 4-lane intersection), I once saw a young guy crossing against the light, on a skateboard, staring down at his iphone, with his earbuds in, paying absolutely no attention whatever to the outside material world. Somehow, he survived.

    Multiply that by a squazillion, with less happy outcomes, and you get your answer.

    • Replies: @Marty
  40. In Los Angeles it’s drunk illegals, for sure.

    There are something like 100,000 hit and runs every year and everybody knows it’s drunk mexicans.

    • Replies: @JohnDenver
  41. @Steve Sailer

    I’ve done this myself, not with Waze, but just a normal GPS map program*. I’ve done a very quick turn because “oh crap, the machine says so. If I don’t do this, I’ll be lost!” I’ve had people call me because they’ve got off, or screwed up on, the route from that GPS device. “Hey, man they’ve still got signs”, I told the one guy. (See Smart Devices / Dumb People – Will Moore’s Law hold?.)

    I’m wondering how long cities and rural areas will keep up any signage. It’s a post I’ve meant to write. People who look at street signs and understand the system, including how address numbers work, may be forced into the new way in the future.


    * Which I RARELY EVER use, BTW. I can get the basics of a map, or directions, in my head and then go driving.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @EdwardM
  42. Anon[280] • Disclaimer says:

    In Japan recently there have been a lot of news reports about elderly drivers mowing down and killing pedestrians or smashing into other cars or into storefronts.

    There is a case recently where a young man’s wife and only child were killed by an elderly driver, and he has been calling for the arrest of the driver, but the police are balking (probably because the prosecutors are not showing an interest in a case where a conviction is unlikely: Japanese prosecutors bat 0.999 and want it to stay that way.)

    The interesting thing about these cases is that the news media, the elderly perps, attorneys, and everyone else refers to the accidents as mistaken pedal accidents caused predominantly by aging drivers. Nobody is talking about a mysterious voodoo “sudden unintended acceleration” (SIA) problem. Nobody is blaming car manufacturers. No lawsuits have been file. No hearings by the legislature. No government agencies demanding to see car software. Rationality prevails.

    In the U.S. you get an SIA moral panic every Chinese zodiac cycle or so, and it shifts from car maker to car maker. American drivers swear up and down that they were pumping, pumping mind you, the break pedal, and the damn car just kept lurching ahead! 90 percent of drivers are older, but there are always a couple of videogenic younger perps who dominate news coverage, demanding that something be done about the murderous car maker. This slant in coverage conceals the true pattern of dottering drivers who shouldn’t have licenses.

    Here’s an old L.A. Times article that listed up a few dozen “victims” (i.e., drivers):

    Some choice quotes:

    The vehicle plunged four floors and landed on its roof in an alley, killing Yago, 83, and his wife, Maureen, 79. Police said they did not believe alcohol or drugs were a factor.

    I wonder: could drugs have been a factor? Or maybe something else?

    Juanita Grossman, 77, was found with both feet still jammed down on the brake pedal.

    O.K. In the heat of rescuing a woman from a horrible wreak that she only survived for less than two weeks, the rescuers were diligent enough to record her foot positions. They teach you that in fire rescue training. Before you power up the jaws of life, check out the feet, both their position and their degree of “jamming down,” and record it on the form.

    A 68-year old woman was attempting to park her 2002 Camry when she crashed into a storefront. The car then went into reverse, striking other vehicles, before lurching forward again, hitting and killing a pedestrian.

    It’s weird how the bugs in Toyotas manifest themselves in so many unique ways.

    The driver, Ella Mae Braswell, was 85. Her husband Lon was 87. They had been married 68 years.

    He died on May 22, 2007, of complications related to the crash. Nguyen was 72.

    And on and on.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @mmack
  43. @Achmed E. Newman

    BTW, wrt my 1st paragraph, that’s not to say a 50% increase is nothing to worry about. It sure is a big trend,

  44. @2 Texting while driving gets my vote, too.

  45. Anon[280] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Who told you about Unit 8201?

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  46. Anon[280] • Disclaimer says:

    In Japan you have to have a sticker or magnet on your car in certain situations, for instance, during the first 12 months after you receive your license, and after you turn 75. The beginners sticker is the “young leaf” symbol in yellow and green. The elderly symbol initially was the “dried up autumn leaf” in orange and yellow, but after protests they changed it to a sort of psychedelic four-leaf clover.

    Seeing these symbols is supposed to make you chill out a bit or take more care when driving next to such cars, and it works pretty well. In the U.S. I’m not sure what would happen: “Carjack Me!”?

    Interestingly, “Baby on Board” never really happened in Japan.

  47. It’s probably a combination of factors, among them:

    Cell phones. Probably the most significant.
    Unlicensed illegals, more foreign drivers of all kinds.
    Legal marijuana, pills.
    Maybe the safety tech gives people a false sense of security, maybe the tech acts in ways that are theoretically safer but not what other humans anticipate.
    Much larger cars and SUVs, too-quiet electrically powered cars.
    Lax traffic enforcement from demoralized LE.
    General disinterest in the general welfare of fellow citizens in a multiculti, polyglot, hodgepodge utopia of diversity.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    , @midtown
  48. @Kronos

    Plus an ever growing sense of entitlement, both on the part of pedestrians and drivers … “I can cross the street while reading my smartphone because drivers are obligated to look out for me” vs. “Why don’t those idiots look where they are going? Why are they in the street?”

    • Replies: @Kronos
  49. Escher says:

    Wonder how this trend correlates with smartphone adoption rates.

  50. Charon says:

    deliberately un-synchronizing traffic signals…The “traffic calming devices”

    The so-called progressives have taken control of where I live now, and they’re busy wasting money we don’t have on measures like this.

    Nearly every traffic light used to operate on sensors and nearly every one has now reverted to timers. It’s particularly irritating off hours; you can sit at one red light after another for a full cycle each with no other cars in sight.

    This, they call “progress”. I call it yet another sign of reversion to the pre-modern era, and it probably won’t stop until we’re back in the Dark Ages.

  51. Charon says:

    Looks like a fun movie. Personally I think it’s a mix of negroes, full of hatred, who deliberately aim their cars at white people; and latinos, full of booze, who can’t aim their cars even if they wanted to.

  52. @O'Really

    Thanks for the link. “Vision Zero” is a program that sets a goal of no traffic deaths, so far with no practical means to achieve that. Not surprisingly, it originated in Sweden. I did learn this useful fact: “The human tolerance for a pedestrian hit by a well-designed car is approximately 30 km/h (19 mph).”

    • Replies: @Paul Rise
    , @Kyle
  53. @Anon

    Audi was pretty much destroyed as a brand in the U.S. about 30 years ago for a decade or so due to lawyers playing up Sudden Acceleration as if it were real.

    • Replies: @donvonburg
  54. @Achmed E. Newman

    Not having a smartphone lately, I was trying last Friday to find a street intersecting Sunset Blvd. after dark. The Sunset Strip is famously Bright Lights Big City for L.A., but I blew past the street sign twice because there were no lights on it.

    With solar panels and LEDs they could do a lot to illuminate street signs these days, but I guess nobody who is anybody cares about that anymore.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @Achmed E. Newman
  55. @Wilkey

    I don’t recall Obama prioritizing highway construction

    Highway construction was going to be the “shovel ready” part of Obama’s $831-billion stimulus plan, but then he decided that the money would be better spent on well-connected solar companies and state and local government workers. As as he later said, with a laugh, “Shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected.”

  56. @Ghost of Bull Moose

    Lax traffic enforcement from demoralized LE.

    Rigorously enforcing jay-walking laws would disparately impact our African American communities. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris could tell you that.

    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
    , @R.G. Camara
  57. @Anon

    I find it weirdly interesting that, judging by the graphic, the Japanese appear to think that “Irish” equals “handicapped”.

    One wonders what Lafcadio Hearn woulda thought.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  58. @Steve Sailer

    The Audi 5000 really did have a problem-with fat footed American drivers who’d press the gas pedal inadvertently. Didn’t happen in Germany. They figured this out, but the lawyers told them that to space the pedals farther apart with a recall would be admitting to the problem and they calculated ignoring it would be cheaper.

    I had a friend that bought an Audi 5000 diesel from the junkyard that had had the rear half T-boned when that happened. Paid scrap price, no demand for them. He put the engine in some other vehicle and it ran flawlessly for a long, long time.

    • Replies: @Alden
  59. Dan Hayes says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    Harry Baldwin:

    If there is such an animal as NYC jaywalking laws, they’ve never been enforced!

  60. Logan says:

    Let us not forget the “magic paint” bike lanes on major routes. As if 4″ of paint will protect you from 3000 pounds of steel traveling 45 mph.

    Although bicycle deaths might not be included in these numbers.

    • Replies: @Sean
    , @Twodees Partain
  61. Sean says:

    Not many actuary bike deaths. They understand how dangerous it is.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    , @LittleNano
  62. @Harry Baldwin

    Not to trigger Whiskey, but supposedly when the first stimulus plan was being worked on, the feminist contingent objected, ” Too many sweaty man jobs in it”.

  63. @Tiny Duck

    Whatever the cause, the cure is throwing virgins into volcanoes and vivisection of hearts of youth. No, wait, we need to elect a strong leader. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Common sense for prez in ’20!

  64. Moses says:

    An extended family member crossing in a well-marked crosswalk (the kind with flashing lights embedded in the road) was struck and killed by a motorist. The driver was texting at the time. This was 1999.

    Smart phones have multiplied the number of things you can do on a phone by 50x, at least. This has got to account for drivers killing more pedestrians.

  65. theMann says:

    100 % of the change occurs at the margin, so what has changed there?

    Cell phone usage, deliberately dangerous urban design, and what I call the pothead lag tax. You know, when the light changes and 17 seconds later the first car starts trickling a cross the street.

    Not just marijuana obviously, every conceivable type of drug use is up, and the rate of change appears to be accelerating.

    Gee, drugged up Zombies, cell phones, and utterly retarded multi-use road design. What could go wrong?

    • Replies: @William Badwhite
  66. JosephB says:

    My thought as well. I’d be a bit more specific and say “smart phones.” Cell phone use exploded 2003 thru 2007. I see a graph that is basically flat for 2000 – 2014, except for an odd dip in 2009. Starting in 2014 things got odd. That seems a little bit late for social media on phones, but that could be my memory playing tricks on me. Maybe pedestrians took a year or two to realize they could walk around like idiots and survive — well, mostly.

    Hmm…or 2015 would be the advent of safe driving technology. I was shopping for a car that year and it was part of my thinking. Although I don’t know of much released that year that claimed to help with pedestrians, except on very high end cars. I was in the price range where there were extra cameras or adaptive cruise control (for large things like cars; it couldn’t pick up a dumpster in the test drive).

    Steve, try to be more conservative in analysis. Cherry picking an odd, one-off year as the baseline and talking about a 50% increase just costs credibility. Saying 30% looks more plausible, and is still a large effect.

  67. TTSSYF says:

    As I drive to work each day, I’m often amazed at the number of people who insist on jogging on the road of one of the busiest four-lane highways leading into the major city where I live — on the wrong side of the road, no less, and even though there is a sidewalk 15 feet away. There is an arrogance about it that perhaps correlates with a sense of entitlement. Reminds me of someone I knew years ago, very Left-leaning, who would saunter across the road and not make the least effort to hustle. It always seemed so arrogant to me. While he wasn’t Hispanic, there is also that aspect to consider. In Central America, one of the leading causes of deaths of young men is being hit by cars, because they will cross the street whenever they feel like it, believing it’s all in God’s hands (que sera, sera). I’d like to know what percentage of the fatalities were Hispanic and/or political Lefties.

  68. At least once a month I end up on the grass to avoid a head on collision.
    When I’m walking or running on the side of the road, sometimes a vehicle is over the white line and I have to side step. This is why you never go with traffic as a pedestrian.

    Each and every time, I never see the driver’s face. All I see is a cell phone held by a brown hand.

  69. @Danindc

    It’s not just texting while driving, it’s texting while walking as well. In fact I’m more inclined to believe that TWW is the bigger problem.

    • Disagree: Aft
    • Replies: @Aft
  70. Cell phones 100%. We need to make texting and driving a felony and start enforcing it.

    • Replies: @Doktor Jeep
    , @JMcG
  71. Art Deco says:

    Traffic fines are a major revenue source in most places.

    They’re not a ‘major’ source of revenue in any place.

    And the problem is not the officers are ‘unloved’. Enforcing the law means some degree of friction between police and public. Well run departments track and promote officers on the basis of how effective they are at the task of maintaining and improving public safety. Badly run departments track and promote officers on the basis of how well they jump through bureaucratic hoops and how little they generate bad publicity.

    See the Eric Garner case. A morbidly obese diabetic had an eccentric reaction to being tackled by officers and died of a heart attack. You can see a video of the tackle. It was quite ordinary and deftly handled. The officer who tackled him has been under an administrative interdict for several years and now is due to be fired. (And, please note, in this case and in the Freddie Gray case the coroner lied and made the absurd ruling that the subjects died by homicide). See the Freddie Gray case. A half-dozen officers going about their mundane business were subject to an absurd criminal prosecution, and the malicious state’s attorney who secured these absurd indictments was returned to office by Baltimore voters. Or, see the Michael Brown case, where an officer defending himself from attack has been run out of law enforcement completely. Subjective feelings are secondary considerations here. Real penalties were imposed on these men for just doing their jobs.

    One thing you see in all these cases is that for black nationalists and white liberals, status considerations are paramount. Police officers are deplorables and have moral understandings like ordinary people. They’re getting above themselves imposing standards of conduct on mascots of the Anointed. And we cannot set standards according to the sense of ordinary people because that’s ‘simplistic’. Black nationalists and white liberals look down on law enforcement and their constituents in the broad public, for distinct but congruent reasons. Rank-and-file blacks are a ready market for this cr!p, which is why Marilyn Mosby is still in office.

    • Agree: Kaganovitch
    • Replies: @Johann Ricke
  72. Paul Rise says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    Ever since I started hearing about Vision Zero efforts in Austin, Texas, it seems like once a week there is a freeway or highway shut down because of a pedestrian fatality – usually a homeless or Mexican immigrant literally wrapped in blankets who has been killed by a car trying to cross a busy highway.

  73. Paul J says:

    Stupid people with heads in their phones. Also dumbass people with “hoodies”. Never look.
    Brought up to think the crosswalk lines will save them.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  74. mmack says:

    Six years ago our family put my mother in a care facility because she was showing signs of dementia. In the course of arranging for her care we found out my eighty-something year old mother drove her car OVER a concrete parking bumper in the parking lot of her local grocery store at least once, if not more, and had to have a tow truck lift the car off the bumper. (She had a front wheel drive Dodge so the wheels wouldn’t touch the pavement after she did this)

    My wife works as an elder care attorney. One of their clients hit her coworker’s car in the office parking lot and drove off (she backed into her coworkers SUV and cracked a taillight). Another client made the local news when she hit a Dunkin Donuts building with her car trying to enter the drive thru. And last year some old duffer who should have had his license pulled and his CUV crushed into a three foot square cube backed into our Mazda sedan in a store parking lot leaving a fist sized dent and big streaks of white paint on the rear passenger side quarter panel of our car. If you’re THAT FREAKING OUT OF IT you hit parked cars and drive off with nary a care in the world, you should be arrested and your license yanked. Or at least your children should be charged with negligence.

  75. @miss marple

    I live in the Phoenix area, which has a disproportionate number of those fossils. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve seen some one of them driving over a parking lot island in a giant luxury sedan, I’d be rich. They’ve got to be at least as dangerous as teen drivers.

  76. Haven’t read all the comments on here, but one key ingredient in pedestrian deaths is surely related to the introduction of so many third worlders who, by my observations, don’t seem to care too much for the use of crosswalks and signals. All across Portland I see people, mostly of the third world persuasion, crossing busy streets pretty much wherever and whenever they please.

    The homeless too, seem to have a death wish when it comes to crossing streets.

    Additionally, in a misguided attempt at something, many burbs have added numerous un-signalled crossings on some of the busiest boulevards.

    It’s a mess.

  77. @mmack

    When my Dad was 91 the DMV renewed his license for five years up through age 96.

  78. @Paul J

    It’s not always the young people, either, Paul. I’ve seen old people blindly follow the instructions from the walk/don’t walk (red hand, vs. white guy) signals at busy intersections in big cities, with not one glance at the traffic. They just stare ahead at those LEDs, and when they go white, they step right off the curb like it’s the Electronic Authoritah. Never mind that late commuter running the light. Chalk up another one.

    • Replies: @Alden
  79. Thirdtwin says:

    …and/or wearing an in-ear device. Topped by a hoodie.

  80. jb says:
    @El Dato

    Supposedly talking on a cell phone — even hands free — is as bad as texting (and both are as bad as drinking and driving). My brother does this all the time and it terrifies me. It’s a matter of attention, not what your hands are doing. If you are talking with someone who is actually in the car that’s supposedly better, because it’s easier to pause the conversation when the road demands your attention. I’m not sure I believe that though; personally I don’t even like to have music on when I’m driving.

  81. countenance says: • Website

    As someone who was almost one of those 2017 statistics…

    It’s smartphones.

    Consider the Smartphone Era in terms of the general public began in 2007, with the introduction of the iPhone, and really picked up in 2010, when Android first surpassed iOS in terms of feature set.

  82. All the above are factors, and include the homeless wandering into traffic in a daze. In Austin so far this year, almost all of the pedestrians killed have been trying to cross Interstate 35, which runs through town. All of them were homeless and/or illegally in the country.

    Count on it when you are hit from behind while sitting at a stop light in Austin. The driver who hit you will be unlicensed, uninsured, undocumented, un-sober, and unwise. Too many uns.

    • Replies: @FPD72
  83. TWS says:
    @Tiny Duck

    Tens elves? Is there nothing elves can’t do?

  84. Aft says:

    Meant to hit “agree”

    Texting while walking, browsing while walking, etc. are probably the biggest factors.

    Plus diffusion of smart phones and heavier use of them–Tinder wasn’t even a thing until 2012 as a point of reference. See chart:

  85. TWS says:

    Unless vision zero is running around slapping cell phones into people’s hands, I’d say the chance of this causing it is zero.

  86. Aft says:

    Five states—Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia and Texas—accounted for almost half of all pedestrian deaths. Those states had some of the highest rates of population growth; together, they account for 33% of the total U.S. population. New Mexico had the highest rate of pedestrian deaths per resident, while New Hampshire had the lowest.

    Very coincidental block of states with all that “population growth” that isn’t exactly reaching up to NH.


  87. TWS says:

    True on all accounts. I’ve never seen illegals stay at an accident if their car will drive away.

  88. @Harry Baldwin

    When Obama said “shovel ready” those of us in the construction biz were laughing hysterically.

    These days environmental regulations, archaeological requirements, neighborhood nimbyism (and related zoning ordinances), local permitting requirements (often capricious and sometimes just bizarre) and a bunch of other factors (laws and regulatory requirements) have turned any type of construction into a Rubik’s cube type-challenge.

    That is just for single buildings–highways and other public works projects are _much_ more complicated.

    • Agree: Alden
    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
  89. @Steve Sailer

    My mother is 96 and still driving….quite well.

    • Replies: @William Badwhite
  90. @Robert Dolan

    Can confirm that it’s almost entirely drunk Mexicans in Denver also. Most of the victims are also drunk Mexicans, so there’s a bit of symmetry involved.

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
  91. @jb

    … personally I don’t even like to have music on when I’m driving.

    I differ from you only on this last part. How can you drive 850 miles across Texas, much less across the whole country, without some great rock & roll? (I used to plan way ahead on this.) OTOH, while driving in the city, DO! NOT! LISTEN! TO! BLUEGRASS! MUSIC!, if you don’t have 12 highway department points to spare. You cannot slow down while listening to Flatt & Scruggs.

    • LOL: Alfa158, MBlanc46
  92. Yeah, it’s cell phones for the most part. Specifically, smart phones, both driver and pedestrian.

    Add in MY hobbyhorse, the huge decline in visibility from the driver’s seat. The Regulators have made crash and roll over standards paramount. So now the drunk / impaired / texting driver can take a curve too fast, crash, and walk away with a scrape or two. That same driver is going to splatter pedestrians they never saw.

    And the driver really did NOT see them. Few ask if the driver was looking and paying attention.

  93. mmack says:
    @Steve Sailer

    My wife and my late Mother-in-Law teamed up to get her late father’s drivers license revoked after he drove the family Buick into the garage wall of their townhouse, backed out, and drove off to Goodness knows where. Once he returned home driving privileges were terminated. He was suffering from TIA (aka “mini-strokes”) and my wife and her mother were upset that when he got his license renewed the year prior it was for four years.

  94. Travis says:

    NYC bicyclists are killing pedestrians and the city won’t stop it

    Mayor de Blasio has aggressively pushed a bike-friendly agenda, adding about 100 miles of dedicated lanes for cyclists amid a spike in rider collisions, but he’s done little to address the danger that bikers themselves pose.

    Since 2011, bicyclists have injured more than 2,250 pedestrians — including at least seven who died — according to stats from the city Department of Transportation and published reports. Injuries are up 12% this year, rising to 127 through June 30 from 113 over the same period in 2018, the NYPD says.

  95. @Tiny Duck

    Old people? Fiddlesticks. I like Jerry Seinfeld’s proposed law: You should be able to drive your age. You’re 85? Hey!

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  96. mmack says:

    I’d like to post it’s a combination of things that add up to a “giant bowl of Not Good”, as Peter DiLorenzo @ would say:
    – Increased Cell Phone use by both drivers AND pedestrians. When I’d walk to and from work in the Loop in Chicago it’s not an exaggeration to say fully half of the people I passed on the sidewalk had their noses buried in their phones. It’s not a surprise those people might step off a curb and get smacked by a car.
    – Entertainment Centers in car dashboards. I just want to listen to the damned radio, thank you very much. I don’t need all that extra junk. It takes your eyes off the road. Ditto the constant changing messages new car dashboards send you (average fuel economy, the artist of the latest song on the radio, etc.)
    – ¡Vibrant! drivers with lax views of driving laws, vehicle maintenance, or pedestrian safety (oh let’s just cross the street here)
    – The switch from sedans to CUVs, SUVs, and Pickup Trucks. My wife and I own passenger cars. I stand 5 foot 10 inches tall. After reading this story I walked into the garage and stood in front of each car. The hood line (edge of the hood) of both of our cars was a good 4-6 inches below my waist. I’ve seen factory stock SUVs and Full Size Pickups (not aftermarket lifted) where the hood line is at my chest (armpit level). Imagine being smacked at 30 MPH by one of those in the dead center of the grille. CUVs are usually lower, but I’ve seen CUVs where the hood line is well above my waist.
    – Reduced visibility in cars. The combination of lower roof lines for aerodynamics and government requirements for safety mean less glass area to see out of and now the A pillars (they hold the windshield) have airbags built into them which makes them wider. On both of our cars you could miss seeing a pedestrian if they were in line with the A pillar.

    Just a few observations.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @El Dato
  97. @jb

    If you are talking with someone who is actually in the car that’s supposedly better, because it’s easier to pause the conversation when the road demands your attention.

    No to mention that the passenger may die in the resulting crash, too, so he keeps his eyes open. Which driver can claim he’s never been alerted to a hazard by the “someine” in the other seat?

  98. Fmillik says:

    Cell phone use by drivers. Any time you stop at an intersection, take a look at your fellow drivers. How often are they looking down?

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    , @Barnard
  99. Mr. Anon says:

    They understand how dangerous it is.

    A lot of them don’t act like they do…………….based on how they behave.

    Not many deaths, but a lot of serious injuries.

  100. @John Derbyshire

    Our Keralan priests always start their sermons with a joke which is usually both good and to the point. I want to visit their seminary one day– it must be a hoot. Here’s one of them:

    A cop stops a car driving suspiciously slowly. He asks the driver, an aged nun, why she is driving half the speed limit. “Half?” she says, pointing to a road sign. “That says ’20’.”

    “That’s not the speed limit, Sister, it’s the highway. This is US 20. That sign gives the limit, which is 40. Please try to keep up with traffic, or use another street. It’s safer for everybody.”

    “I’m sorry, officer I didn’t know. I’m still on my learner’s permit, as you can see. This is my first time out of the neighborhood.”

    He looks around at the other passengers, younger nuns with ashen expressions on their faces.

    “Is everything alright here?”

    “Yes, officer,” says the driver. “It’s just that we turned off Highway 131. “

    • Replies: @MikeatMikedotMike
  101. @James Braxton

    Won’t work,
    In Washington new laws were passed regarding distracted driving that were ambiguous. The end result: Civilized people were debating whether or not they could have a cup of coffee while driving. The less civilized people (those who could not build one) didn’t change their behavior one bit. At every intersection, every one of them on their phones.

    Were it up to me, I would make it a felony. And if you cause an accident, you get a firing squad on the side of the road. That’s how bad it is out here.

    • Replies: @James Braxton
  102. many pedestrians are killed by bicyclists in urban areas like Manhattan

  103. R.G. Camara says: • Website
    @Harry Baldwin

    Rigorously enforcing jay-walking laws would disparately impact our African American communities.

    In Washington, DC, especially in the black ghetto, the police rigorously enforce jaywalking laws. I was walking in a dark part of town about ten years ago and was told by some companions that I shouldn’t step off the sidewalk or cross against the light. Sure enough, the moment I did so a police cruiser got on the speaker in his car and literally yelled at me in to get back on the sidewalk or he would ticket me. And this was in a very rough area of town— a literal crack house was on the block.

    I also seem to recall that LA cops had a reputation for enforcing jaywalking laws to a crazy degree, but I have no personal experience with that.

    I get the sense that police in American crime-ridden areas that have heavy-handed anti-racism tools running things are sticklers on jaywalking stuff.

    • Replies: @Alden
  104. @Steve Sailer

    When my Dad was 91 the DMV renewed his license for five years up through age 96.

    My aunt remarried a very energetic man and he’d drive them back and forth between Florida, Connecticut, and Michigan every year, along with annual trips out west. In a 40-year-old “Medicare sled”, to use PJ O’Rourke’s term.

    When he was 91 or 92, his sons put their feet down and made him stop driving.

    He was dead within six months. Driving was what kept him alive.

    My aunt herself turned 96 last month. I doubt she’s still driving. Which in Cape Coral is immobility by default. Fort Myers is a mile away by bridge, 33 miles by foot or bicycle. And all those canals…

    • Replies: @Kyle
    , @R.G. Camara
  105. Kyle says:

    Michael brown was picked up for jaywalking. In the ghetto you often see people walking right in the middle of the street. Most of the time they’re just trying to cross the street and don’t want to wait for cars to stop coming from both directions before they cross. Other times you see them actually walking distances in the center of the street, easier to cross the street if you’re already in the middle of it. It’s easy to quickly dart across one lane of traffic. I don’t think it’s smart phones, people aren’t that stupid to not look both ways before they cross the street. I think it has more to do with a quasi Ferguson effect. Less police intervention of jaywalkers because of racial disparities, more people walking instead of driving due to the recession, and spirit of rebelliousness because Obama became president in 2009. This makes more sense to me than smart phones.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  106. Alfa158 says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Same deal here. Luckily, as he put it he “still had all his marbles” and voluntarily sold his car at 94. As more evidence of his good sense, just before that when he had some loose tiles on the roof of his mission style house he admitted that he was getting too shaky to climb up there and fix them and asked me to come over and do it. Being not quite yet a septuagenarian I was able to oblige and we were all relieved he had not tried to do it himself.

  107. When Cops Pull Back, Car And Truck Drivers Smash Pedestrians

    Mass Immigration Brings Magical Thinking Pedestrians Who Put Faith In The Gods To Protect Them

    The American Empire Is About To Implode & The Pedestrians And Drivers Don’t Care About Nothing

  108. JMcG says:
    @The Germ Theory of Disease

    That fine plant, the shamrock, has three leaves. The sticker in question more closely resembles the quadrifoglio that Alfa Romeo uses for their lovely automobiles.

  109. Kyle says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Old people love driving, it’s the only thing they’re still good at. Driving vehicles technically makes us into cyborgs. It enhances our pathetic biological mode of transportation. The older you get the more wonderful this is, why would we even consider taking that away from them? Most old people realize that their reaction time has slowed down so they drive the speed limit.

  110. Jack D says:

    This is a thoughtful answer. I’m guessing that the answer is no one single thing but a combination of the things that you site. As roads get more crowded, people become more impatient. When the lights change around here, I sometimes see 2 or 3 cars going thru on a fully red light. People try to jump the left turn when the light turns green. This results in a lot of fender benders but if any pedestrian is foolish enough to just follow the lights he is in danger of his life and not just his fenders.

    Last year when a self-driving car killed a pedestrian, it was a homeless person who stepped out of the shadows from the median in the middle of the block at night. A human driver might (or might not) have seen this pedestrian but the self driving car was just not set up for such a blatant and unexpected violation of the rules (and probably neither are many human drivers). Especially human drivers who are texting and not watching the road every second, human drivers who have had a little “medical” marijuana, are on opiates, etc. (and the same for the pedestrians). In the old days, drunk drivers were an enormous threat but nowadays there are lots more intoxicants to choose from.

    In summary, I’m guessing that the increase in deaths is just one aspect of a country that is coming apart at the seams in various ways. We have superficial prosperity and a “good” economy right now but the rot in the society keeps extending deeper and deeper within and manifests itself in various ways.

  111. 1. Does this include bicycle deaths?

    2. Doesn’t this sort of go against Andrew Yang’s prediction that trucks will be self-driven in 25 years? I have my doubts.

  112. JMcG says:
    @James Braxton

    I can’t believe that I haven’t heard even a word about requiring smart phones to shut down while moving. How hard can that be to do?

    • Replies: @William Badwhite
  113. Jack D says:

    I understand that Vision Zero (like many government efforts) might be totally ineffective but how does it backfire and make the problem even WORSE?

    • Replies: @Veracitor
  114. @DaKine

    Some years ago I was dragged into a city discussion about a new hotel and its effect on traffic (I was a fireman, knew almost nothing about traffic and why I had to do this is too long a story). The State DoT people, local and county cops, and traffic engineers were all against any new crosswalks. They explained that that was where most pedestrian accidents happened. People using a crosswalk assume it is safe – people not using one are more careful since they realize they have to rely on their own judgement.

  115. Kyle says:

    Pedestrian fatalities are stable from 1999 to 2014. There is a lull that occurred during the high gas prices of the late bush era recession, but otherwise the pedestrian fatalities were stable over that time period. Fatalities seem to sky rocket post Ferguson in 2014. I think this less to do with the rise of the smart phone and more to do with the late Obama age collapse.

    • Agree: Mr McKenna
  116. R.G. Camara says: • Website
    @Reg Cæsar

    I doubt she’s still driving. Which in Cape Coral is immobility by default.

    Uber/Lyft might be a gold mine there.

  117. @Wilkey

    RE: road infastructure – I’ve spent a lot of time in Northern Calif. In 1974, when the state population was about 20 million, the I-80 causeway between Sacramento and the SF Bay was three lanes each direction. The population is now above 40 million and the causeway is still three lanes each direction.

  118. @mmack

    A friend of mine works as a nurse in a dialysis-facility. She told me, that one of her regular patients has narcolepsy (he falls asleep suddenly), but drives to the facility by car three times a week. She and her colleagues have begged him to give up his driving-license, but he refuses to do so. Due to privacy-laws they cannot report him to the autorities. In my opinion, some of the privacy-laws are overly strict. In cases like the one I mentioned, it should be legal (and in my opinion even a duty) for medical personnel to report him.

  119. R.G. Camara says: • Website
    @Harry Baldwin

    Obama just slapped a stimulus sign on existing/already planned highway repairs and took the credit for it. Not a bad political move, btw.

    However, there were multiple lefty cultists on the interwebs during those years who kept swearing that they’d never seen such smooth roads or had such smooth rides until The Anointed One made it part of his program. Pretty laughable morons.

  120. Jack D says:
    @Steve Sailer

    In the township where I live the traditional street signs are these charming circa 1914 cast iron things with yellow lettering on a green background. The paint is not reflective and they are completely unreadable at night. A few years ago the Federal road safety folks tried to pressure them into replacing the signs with modern reflective signs but there was a backlash and now they are back to the 1914 style signs. Somehow they got an exemption from the Federal requirements because the existing signs were “historical”. Never mind that there were hardly any cars in 1914 and the ones that there were mostly went very slow and not at night.

    Not having a smartphone lately,


    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  121. Kyle says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    Vision zero is the perfect name for a traffic safety initiative. Only a Scandinavian bureaucratic fruitcake lacking a firm grasp of english could have come up with that.

  122. Anonymous[425] • Disclaimer says:

    • Replies: @Kronos
  123. @Reg Cæsar

    A 90 year old lady was pulled over for speeding by an Illinois State Police Officer while passing through. When he arrived at the lady’s window she greeted him warmly and said, “I suppose you’re here to escort me to the Policeman’s Ball then, aren’t you?”

    The ISP officer responded “We don’t have balls here in Illinois.”

    After a moment, he asked her to slow down and bid her good day.

  124. First off, speed is not the correlating factor in accidents. It is difference in speed. At least according to G. Gordon Liddy.

    My personal opinion is people with “we will take care of you” cars pay less attention.

    If I want to stop I need to use the brake. So I keep extra special awareness passing thru heavy ped-x areas. Schools, downtown, etc. And a good if not ideally recommended distance from those in front of me at speed.

    My wife and I are both amazed that there are not MORE accidents than there are. Just because… jeeze, look around you at all those other fools.

  125. Jack D says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Unless you change the settings, Google Maps (and BTW Google owns Waze nowadays) keeps track of where you have been every moment that the program is active. It will provide you with a minute by minute timeline of your movements that would be the envy of the Stasi.

    I pride myself on knowing the “hidden” shortcuts in my local area. Lately I have seen cars driving sort of slowly and cautiously (as if they were on an unfamiliar route) on these same back routes – I assume that Waze has found my secret shortcuts and is placing people from out of the area onto them. When I get stuck behind one of those I have to switch to the DOUBLE secret shortcut instead.

    Google Maps still seems to favor highway routes and fewer turns in their algorithm. I live between 2 highway exits on a highway that has very few exits (but somewhat closer to the farther exit). So the choice is either to get off the highway at the first exit and work your way thru the local streets or else stay on the highway, drive past my house and then double back a shorter distance on the local streets. Google Maps normally chooses the latter unless there is a traffic jam on the highway. This is longer in miles because you are doubling back but Google seems to think that it is faster. Partly I think this is a matter of assuming that people will drive the speed limit on the local streets (25 to 35 mph) when in fact people (I) drive faster than that. Waze seems more interested in pushing you down the back way – perhaps they base it on actual speeds from other cars phoning home rather than upon posted limits.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  126. Gordo says:


    Plus driving while Mexican.

  127. mmack says:
    @Laurence Whelk

    You’ve just described roughly two out of every ten vehicles I pass on the interstate these days. To be fair I do see men driving around with a cell phone slapped to the side of their face too. I’ve seen plenty of guys use their cellphone as a mobile map and stare at it while driving. Personally I think if you don’t know where you’re headed you should figure that out BEFORE you jump in the car. For better or for worse my 2013 Ford and our new Hyundai have hands free Bluetooth connectivity to take calls. That said I still don’t like talking on the phone when I drive.

    • Replies: @Known Fact
  128. Camlost says:

    Here in Atlanta ground zero for pedestrian deaths is the Buford Highway corridor, which is Mestizo heaven. They don’t use crosswalks or obey any kind of traffic control, they just cross (slowly) wherever they feel like it, and it’s usually a Muffin top mother with side handles crammed into tight jeans and a tube top, pulling along six kids under age 7 in tow like a long line of ducklings.

    It’s like a game of Frogger out there.

    A huge amount $$$ has spent spent adding wide, protected “refuge medians” plus about a million other structures and/or traffic signals that attempt to corral the Mestizos into sensible crossing points.

    • Replies: @indocon
  129. Santa Barbara (city? county? all of CA?) has some ridiculous law where you have to watch for pedestrians about to enter the “crosswalk” at intersections that have neither a stoplight or stopsign. I’m not sure of the exact law; i’ve only lived here 15+ years. But it seems crazy to me that the driver is supposed to be responsible for what goes on OFF THE ROAD. And the effect (as a pedestrian walking with other people) is complete chaos. Some people walk right out in front of cars, expecting them to stop. Not all cars stop. Etc.

    • Replies: @Alden
  130. DW says:
    @Laurence Whelk

    Driving in SK, as you know, you press your way through pedestrians in a way that would get you beat up back home.

    While texting a decade ago, my bumper hit a Korean-American’s. I got out and asked, apparently, “are you okay?” instead of saying “I’m sorry.” He then told me I’d been in Seoul too long.

    When in Rome… oh well.

  131. Homeless population increase?

  132. @prosa123

    Simple physics. F = MV**2.

    Double the speed, increase the force 4 fold.

    Heavier cars increase the force as well. An SUV, especially with a grill in front, can be deadly.

    This is why I am always happy when I see someone get a ticket in a school zone, especially near an elementary school. The fatality speeds are much lower for little kids.

    Around here, some of the high schools are in areas where the traffic is really bad. Occasionally a kid will get hit by a car.

    One thing they have done in Wisconsin — put in a lot of roundabouts, which helps more for the fatality rate for drivers than pedestrians. The studies show roundabouts actually INCREASE the number of accidents, but DECREASE the fatalities. Far fewer head-on or t-bone crashes. Mostly fender benders at slower speeds.

  133. Alden says:

    I’ve never seen anything like that in my state. Occasional speed bumps, always with a sign. I don’t mind them, they’re in 25 mile zones on empty residential streets. Hope the insane California city planners never hear of these plans.

  134. @theMann

    Mix in aging boomers raised in a car culture. Aging boomers that refuse to give up their keys killing people with their cars is going to be a thing.

    • Replies: @FPD72
  135. Very OT, but I don’t see any recent posts to add this to. Kenyan Muslim immigrant opens Albuquerque taco joint with very un-PC menu names:

    Just watched video for the first time. How did they find someone on the street with a Throbbing Gristle t-shirt?

  136. Alden says:

    How can anyone press the gas pedal inadvertently?? Unless they’re drunk high or on some kind of medication. I have a lot of as needed meds that make me woozy.

    So I only take it when I’m home and plan on staying home all day.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  137. @Foreign Expert

    Cool, nice anecdote. Based on this we can now eliminate aging drivers as a factor.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  138. Anonymous[388] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D

    Waze is already used to control traffic patterns. Try taking three iPhones with you on a trip from Boston to D.C. At accidents and heavy traffic it will give you three different re-routes. It also re-routes you, or will not route you through, certain neighborhoods (Chevy Chase, Bethesda, McLean, etc.)

    • Replies: @Jack D
  139. Cortes says:

    Presumably the highly-paid actuaries have much more nuanced data than

    Nevertheless, there ought to be enough meat to satisfy amateur numbercrunchers…

  140. @JMcG

    The problem is that people that are passengers in a cars, buses, and other public transportation don’t want their phones to be inaccessible. Some apps such as Waze will ask you to confirm you are a passenger rather than the driver, but ultimately it has no choice but to take you at your word.

    People unwilling to put down their phone and pay attention to their driving are a huge problem and are frankly assholes. I believe the seeming rise in general assholishness is a function of our increasingly multicultural and atomized society.

    Having regard for and courtesy to others (even strangers) is a civilization thing. Importing uncivilized people while at the same time encouraging the civilizationally-challenged we already have here has, not surprisingly, led to a decline in the quality of civilization.

  141. Anon[304] • Disclaimer says:
    @Paleo Liberal

    F=ma not mv^2.

    Maybe you’re thinking of kinetic energy, but there’s a factor of 1/2 in it.

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
  142. Lurker says:

    Possible contributing factor – regular cars have been getting quieter for years – now we’re seeing a real proliferation of electric/hybrid vehicles on top of that.

  143. Noman says:
    @El Dato

    I have noticed drivers, most often a woman, having a conversation with a passenger, again another woman, and following me too closely on an interstate. I slow down gradually below the speed limit, to see how long before the driver, or the passenger, notices that they are 10-15 mph below the speed limit.

    IMHO, the average US driver should not have a driver license.
    But then how would the car manufacturers and the auto finance companies make profits.

    Everybody needs a house and car(s) to keep the ponzi going.

    “In Debt We Trust”

    • Replies: @Known Fact
  144. @Doktor Jeep

    Kind of like drunk driving.

    I think right now keeping the civilized people from doing it would be a huge improvement. Since it is non-felonious we have sent a signal that we don’t think it is bad to do.

    Operating a two ton motor vehicle at road speeds while looking down at Instagram or whatever shows a depraved heart and should be treated as such under the law.

    You could enforce it with cameras strategically placed and by pulling cell site data from drivers who cause death or injury.

    It couldn’t all be stopped of course, but incrementally decreasing deaths would be a win.

  145. Veracitor says:
    @Jack D

    Vision Zero is dangerously ideological and therefore myopic— Vision Zero activists don’t actually care about pedestrians or safety, they just hate cars and drivers. So they focus all their energies— and taxpayer dollars— on harassing motor traffic. They reject proposals to build grade-separated autoroutes and to discourage jaywalking, both of which reduce vehicle-pedestrian conflicts and therefore injuries.

    The implementors of “Vision Zero” have only one tactic, which is to increase traffic congestion in order to reduce vehicle speeds, which they assert will consequently reduce fatal collisions.

    There are several problems with this (besides the obvious one that everything in life is a tradeoff— reducing all vehicle speeds to zero would eliminate all fatal collisions, but also destroy the economy, leading to mass starvation). Traffic congestion prevents ambulances and fire trucks from responding swiftly. The best study-based estimates are that for every 1 pedestrian death they avert, “traffic calming” (forced traffic congestion) schemes kill more than 30 heart-attack and accident victims by delaying paramedics (link). Congestion also increases unsafe driving and road rage, which is counterproductive.

    Literally yesterday (9/2) while driving home from a holiday resort, I was caught in congestion like millions of others. I saw multiple other drivers do crazy stuff out of frustration, even though they must have known it could only save them a few minutes at best. I saw people drive on shoulders and across ramps, then swerve dangerously back into traffic to avoid striking bridge abutments and the like. I saw one guy drive onto the verge while trying to get into a rest area— he couldn’t get back onto the pavement because of a steep curb and gutter, so he drove through the picnic area, scattering families with little kids, until he found the lawnmower ramp, then drove the wrong way in the parking zone. He didn’t have to do any of that. The rest area was not overcrowded, there was just a brief backup at the entrance as someone with a huge horse trailer paused while some other big rig was maneuvering in the truck-parking zone. The picnic-terrorizing moron was just so agitated after inching along in traffic for an hour that he wouldn’t wait an extra 60 seconds on the rest-area entrance road. Vision Zero wants to make that kind of agitation a daily hazard for everyone rather than an occasional holiday problem.

    • Agree: kaganovitch
  146. @William Badwhite

    ‘…I believe the seeming rise in general assholishness is a function of our increasingly multicultural and atomized society…’


  147. @mmack

    ‘…If you’re THAT FREAKING OUT OF IT you hit parked cars and drive off with nary a care in the world, you should be arrested and your license yanked…’

    Also, you shouldn’t be allowed to run for President.

    • LOL: mmack
  148. Alden says:

    Why not just obey the law? I’ve been driving in California 50 years and I’ve never had a pedestrian walk out in front of me. Or look like they’re going to walk right out in front of me.

    Not where I live half the year in the most congested part of Los Angeles. Not along pacific coast highway where pedestrians park on the east side and have to run across to the west side of PCH to get to the beach in areas where there are no stop signs or crosswalks for miles.

    I worked for decades in a downtown criminal courts building . Criminal courts building have a lot of black criminal and thug car and pedestrian traffic. Never had a problem with pedestrians around there either.

    City driving I’m on high alert for cars bikes pedestrians and everything. Just watch out for pedestrians use your horn, eye contact and hand signals and you’ll be OK. You haven’t hit one yet have you? It’s a sensible law. It’s based on physics and common sense A 1,000-2,000 pound vehicle does a lot more damage to a 150 pound human than the human can do to the vehicle

    When I’m in the Bay Area I have to use the horn a lot going up the hill around the curves because of deer. So I do.

    • Replies: @JeremiahJohnbalaya
  149. EdwardM says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    I’m wondering how long cities and rural areas will keep up any signage.

    This is an interesting thought experiment. If we can rely only on technology for navigating unfamiliar areas, imagine the social engineering by those who tell you where you should go.

    I love large road atlases like Rand McNally or Michelin, and always buy one when I am driving in a new country. Navigation apps can’t replicate the broad views that paper maps can. I hope that this publishing genre survives; I wonder if it’s weathering the technology storm these days?

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  150. Bill says:

    Re #2, I think yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks is taken much more seriously now. I’d be curious to see a regional breakdown. My sense is that taking crosswalks seriously began in the West (in the 60s?) and then spread east (laws or no laws). In my childhood far from the west coast, it was dangerous to cross in a crosswalk if cars were coming. Drivers would either expect you to back down or would whip past you six inches away to teach you a lesson. First time on the west coast I was stunned at the cars coming to a complete stop for pedestrians who hadn’t even stepped off the curb yet.

  151. Marty says:
    @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Every afternoon in SF, at the corner of 15th/ California, a skateboard guy risks it all just like this. He comes out of the Presidio, down a fairly steep hill, and blasts through a four-way stop where drivers are usually in a hurry to make the next light to get onto the GGB approach. Guy’s got balls.

    • Replies: @William Badwhite
  152. Kronos says:
    @The Alarmist

    Some of these look fake (the quality and angle or too good.) But plenty enough are legit.

    • LOL: The Alarmist
  153. Buzz Mohawk says: • Website
    @Jack D

    …where I live the traditional street signs are these charming circa 1914 cast iron things…

    How long have you lived in Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood?

    We have roads here with no signs at all intersecting roads that do. I guess if the one you’re on has a sign you’re supposed to know which ones have crossed it since the Revolutionary War? I don’t get it.

    Not having a smartphone lately,


    He’s less likely to run into pedestrians that way.

    Steve has mentioned that he doesn’t have cable either. He is a smart man saving a fair amount of money every month on things he evidently doesn’t need. If I could wean my wife off those things, I might do the same and apply the savings toward something I really need, like a mid-engined sports car.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  154. BB753 says:

    DWA? (Driving while Asian). And smartphones distracting both pedestrians and drivers.

  155. Or it could be the malign effect of drivers and pedestrians with their noses in their iPhones.

  156. @Sean

    I’m not convinced they do. Most seem to think that the 4 inch white line is the actual bike lane rather than the 4 ft wide path to the right of the line. I guess that is the bike emergency lane or they simply misread the markings as “Bike Line” rather than “Bike Lane”.

    The only time I see bikers in the actual bike lane is when there is more than one bike present and the line position is already occupied. If it is a sole biker then he’s running the line in full Lance Mode.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    , @Jack D
  157. indocon says:

    LOL! But hey, aren’t those Korean masala tacos that come out of that people mixing great?

    • Replies: @Camlost
  158. Buzz Mohawk says: • Website

    Jeff Epstein, the sweaty guy with hairy knuckles.

  159. Jack D says:
    @William Badwhite

    I am definitely seeing increased assholishness all over the place. Around the corner from where I live is an old estate property that had a main house and a caretakers cottage (and they later chopped a couple of lots out of it too). Decades ago, the people who owned the whole show ( I knew them – they were nice older people who did a lot of volunteer work and are dead now) moved into the little cottage when they became empty nesters and sold off the big house. The driveway to the big house (it now appears) cut across the corner of the cottage lot. There was a triangle of perhaps 10 feet by 5 feet (tapering to nothing) where the driveway was actually on the neighbors land. No one thought anything of this – it was at the far edge of the cottage lot and it made absolutely no difference if their lawn ended at the edge of this driveway or a couple of feet inside of it.

    But recently, I noticed that there were all kinds of surveyor’s flags and lines painted on the ground and the owners of the big house had been forced to cut off their driveway on the encroaching side (and the little strip had been carefully seeded with grass – now the lucky owners of the cottage have 30 sq. feet more of lawn on a 3/4 acre lot – this has surely made their life better. Meanwhile, the driveway is now too narrow and hits the street at a sharp angle and there is a big old tree on the other side of the drive which will make it difficult to widen the other side (probably why the driveway was where it was to begin with). They are going to have to cut down this enormous tree in order to make their driveway usable again.

    Anyway, the only explanation I can see for forcing the neighbor to undergo such grief and expense for so little gain is pure assholishness. The big house and the cottage have changed hands several times and nobody knows anybody or feels that they have any duty of neighborliness to their neighbors.

  160. @Paleo Liberal

    You don’t every want to be a corner property owner at a roundabouted intersection. Those owners seem to spend a lot of time mending fences.

    • Replies: @Anon
  161. Art Deco says:

    What Brown and his bud Dorion Johnson were doing was walking down a traffic lane as if it were a walkway. Darren Wilson happens by and tells them they’re blocking traffic and to get on the sidewalk. Brown’s reaction to this set off a sequence of events which left him dead in short order.

    • Replies: @GermanReader2
  162. @Jack D

    I’m guessing that the answer is no one single thing but a combination of the things that you site [sick].

    I’m very disappointed in you, Jack.

    • Replies: @MikeatMikedotMike
  163. Jack D says:
    @William Badwhite

    Statistically, older drivers are not causing a lot of accidents. They don’t usually drive very often or for long distances or at night or in bad weather and they tend to be slow and cautious when they do drive, usually on familiar routes. For this reason they are much less likely to be in an accident than say a testosterone crazed American teenager or an illegal alien.

    • Replies: @William Badwhite
  164. @Jack D

    Good story. Yeesh. And now they have to live next to each other for who knows how many years, with the neighborly relationship soured right out of the gate. They’re already atomized.

  165. Some of the bounce back is due to people driving more than they did in the economically depressed year of 2009, but still … This is a trend that should go down.

    My guess is gentrification is a main culprit.

    More people living in cities means more people who walk places and more interactions with cars. Also, the kinds of people repopulating our gentrified urban centers tend to be people who didn’t grow up in cities, and who instead grew up in suburbs. They didn’t learn the lessons of pedestrian travel that people (like I) who grew up in a city did – mainly, looking both ways before crossing a street. This could be exacerbated by frequent inebriation leaving the cool urban bars and restaurants with a phone in their faces.

    Suburbs were designed to be unfriendly to pedestrians (outsiders/suspicious types/troublemakers/poors), so kids aren’t raised with the same sort of awareness of automobiles.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  166. @Buzz Mohawk

    Other than about Affirmative Action and whether golf sucks or not, Steve and I are in about complete agreement.

    1) I’ve been off cable TV (and any other kind) for ~ 20 years, with a very few exceptions.

    2) I DO have a smart phone but am now in the process of checking out unlocked flip-phones. I’ve had it with things that start doing shit whenever you touch ’em wrong. Enough!

  167. Beliavsky says:

    Off-topic but maybe of interest to Steve and his readers:

    Harvard President Larry Bacow has a rather political welcoming message for the 2019-2020 academic year:
    “Not just as a university president, but as the son of refugees and as a citizen who deeply believes in the American dream, I am disheartened by aspects of the proposed new criteria for people seeking to enter our country. They privilege those who are already educated, who already speak English, and who already have demonstrable skills.”

    As Steve has noted, the most prestigious universities support legal and immigration but are extremely selective in who they let in, partly because they choose not to increase their class sizes along with their endowments. Open borders for thee but not for me.

  168. @Steve Sailer

    That latter idea is pretty good. I wish I’d gone somewhere myself with my idea of LED stop lights that I had back in ’92!

    About the possible elimination of signs, I just wrote my post: “Sign, Sign, where’d they put the sign? ♪♫♬”.

  169. @Jack D

    A girl I went to HS with was killed by an elderly man that blew threw a red light, t-boned her car, then continued pressing the accelerator as it pushed her car down a fairly steep embankment adjacent to the road causing her car to roll a couple of times. After the accident he told the police his signal was green (it wasn’t, as witnesses and camera footage attested) and that after he hit her he “kept pressing” the brake. I realize though that this, like the OC citing his 96-year excellent driving mom, is just an anecdote and not something we can use to draw broad conclusions. As far as I can recall, he wasn’t charged criminally which I found to be disgraceful.

    To your point (and thanks for the context), I don’t think elderly drivers are as high a percentage of the driving public yet as they’re going to be once the baby boomers start getting old (I mean REALLY old, not like 75 old). Btw this isn’t a shot at boomers for being “boomers” so much as a simple prediction based on there being a whole lot of them.

    • Replies: @Sean
    , @Jim Don Bob
  170. Buzz Mohawk says: • Website
    @Jack D

    I am definitely seeing increased assholishness all over the place.

    Me too.

    Too bad the folks in the big house didn’t have you as their attorney. (Maybe there are other people “in the big house” who could say that for themselves too. LOL)

    A neighbor had a similar situation when he built his house on three acres with a drive that went through an already existing easement between two adjacent properties, each also three acres. His friendly, welcoming neighbors gave him all kinds of crap and dragged him to the zoning board with no results. Now they hate each other over something that was not ever seriously in question.

    …nobody knows anybody or feels that they have any duty of neighborliness to their neighbors.

    That is certainly the way things are in many American communities now. My wife and I made a point when we moved here to go around and meet the nearby people. (That’s when the one told us the previous story.) Since then, we stay in touch and also say hello to new people. A little effort is all it takes.

    • Replies: @Stan Adams
    , @JMcG
  171. @Art Deco

    Didn’t Wilson hear of the robbery of the convenience store along with Brown’s description before he stopped them?

  172. Buzz Mohawk says: • Website
    @Steve Sailer

    My father drove his big Lincoln until the day he died in his driveway getting out of it. He was 85 and had just come back from a run to the store to buy cigarettes. Let that be a lesson: smoking really can kill you.

    Of course he never told me about the time a few months earlier when he drove off the road and his mile-long car ended up at a 45-degree angle in the trees on a mountainside. His friends told me about that after he died.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  173. @mmack

    One day zipping along on a Queens NY parkway at 60 mph I noticed that the guy passing on my right had the Daily Racing Form spread open over his steering wheel. And in those days the DRF was a broadsheet, not a tabloid

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
  174. SafeNow says:

    In Orange County, California, I am always astonished to see the frequency of pedestrians crossing the road without first making eye-contact verification of vehicles’ location and driver awareness. This includes mothers with babies! This is overwhelmingly a young-person trait, and a migrant trait. They need’t be on a cell phone; this is a cultural thing and stupidity thing. I estimate 80% non-checking for these groups. For mature Chinese-Americans, I estimate non-verification at 1%. Btw, correlating with pedestrian stupidity is the ensuing workout stupidity, once these stupid pedestrians get into the gym. They actually think that working a muscle dissipates the fat overlying the muscle — lots of situps to burn-away stomach obesity and lots of sidebends for love-handle fat. But this is California, so regarding stupidity, don’t get me started.

  175. Just to prove that you are all complete assholes, you all blame older drivers for killing people with their slow driving, when any idiot knows that it is faster drivers, speeders, who kill people.

    Yeah, I know, you want those old, slow drivers to get out of the way so’s you can speed to your heart’s content.

    You motivation is so blatant. You are such children. Your attacking of the old people recall a typical freshman comp essay from a dunce.

    • Replies: @Anon
  176. J.Ross says:

    Blacks jaywalk as a natural behavior, and they do it more or less often depending on how societally accepted they feel. Obama’s hate crusade against America and the paid-riot tactic of blocking traffic (defended by some courts) has them thinking that diving in front of a car is okay. This trend would reverse quickly if blacks got the message that the most gullible guilted white cannot change momentum.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  177. @Anon

    I’ll bet Japan also doesn’t have those annoying stick-figure-family decals

    • Replies: @Anon
  178. Jack D says:

    Entertainment Centers in car dashboards. I just want to listen to the damned radio, thank you very much. I don’t need all that extra junk. It takes your eyes off the road. Ditto the constant changing messages new car dashboards send you (average fuel economy, the artist of the latest song on the radio, etc.)

    It’s not just entertainment. In some new cars all sorts of functions (climate control, locks, cruise control, wipers, lights, mirrors, etc.) run off of the touch screen display instead of knobs and switches and sliders. In the Tesla 3 the center screen substitutes for just about all other controls and instruments. In older cars, after a while you learn the function of the knobs by touch so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road to turn the blower speed from 3 to 2. With a touchscreen, the only way you can operate it is with hand-eye coordination.

    • Agree: SafeNow
    • Replies: @mmack
    , @El Dato
    , @AnotherDad
  179. @Kronos


    To first order this is almost certainly the main driver.

    The other things
    — Latinos
    — traffic congestion
    — homeless
    — SUVs
    — legalized marijuana

    are more gradual and don’t necessarily fit the time series data.

    For instance, inebriated Latinos definitely are an issue, and more of the post-amnesty baby boom generation came to driving age in the late 00s. But the peak of unattached–hence frequently drunk–young males was during the peak of Bush’s housing-and-hey-i’m-going-to-get-you-amnesty bubble.

    Immigration has certainly been driving up populations and eating available tax dollars potentially spent on infrastructure ergo massively congesting the roads. But that’s gradual as well.

    SUV thing has been rolling for a long time, well prior to this turnaround.

    Homelessness was ramping up even during the the bubble and certainly in the recession.

    On the other hand having a phone that is not just a phone but a little portable computer and communications device, is whacking the crap out of situational awareness–drivers and pedestrians–and its adoption coincides with this ramp up one-to-one.

    • Replies: @Kronos
  180. Anon[137] • Disclaimer says:

    It’s worth asking why pedestrian deaths were so high in 1990? They didn’t have texting then.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  181. Jack D says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    By the time my 97 year old m.i.l. stopped driving a couple of years ago, there were all sorts of scrapes and scratches and different colors of paint all over the bumpers of her car (2005 Lexus with 50K miles) – whether this was from hitting parked cars or bollards, etc. I can’t say (and neither could she, at least that she was willing to admit).

  182. @Anon

    I seem to recall that Steve has hypothesized that medical improvements reduced deaths during those years. More lives were saved after the accidents, and continue to be, but something now is driving the number back up. They would be even higher now otherwise; at least that’s the idea as I understand it.

    It would be useful to see the numbers of impacts, not deaths, for the same years.

    Also, great improvements in brakes and handling of cars during that period may have helped, and probably some other things. Maybe even the front ends of car bodies were made safer. I think that was a new law written somewhere sometime. Life just keeps getting better and better.

  183. Anon[137] • Disclaimer says:

    According to the posted survey, 32% of those killed were crossing the road at an non-intersection, and were doing so drunk at night. 17% of those who killed the pedestrians were also drunk.

    45% of the increase of fatalities occurred at night. In other words, drunk pedestrians leaving bars and drunk drivers leaving bars account for half of pedestrian deaths. The drunk pedestrians are no great loss. It’s probably drunk illegal immigrant Mexicans staggering across a street at random being flattened. They are used to streets in Mexico which don’t have as many cars, and they’re used to crossing wherever they wish.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  184. Anon[137] • Disclaimer says:

    I’ve seen a few solve the problem by importing strategically placed landscape boulders. It ensures better driver compliance or else.

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
  185. @Marty

    Is StreamerMan (so named for his numerous facial piercings all festooned with streamers) still wheeling around SF on his stolen shopping cart full of junk? I used to crack up how he was a minor celebrity. People would yell “Hey StreamerMan” as he went past and he’d always flip them off.

    I used to see that guy all over the city – in the Marina, in Noe Valley, downtown. One I saw him heading west on some road in Noe Valley, 21st or Hill, one of those. He was riding his shopping cart down a steep incline, blew through the stop sign at Church, and of course flipped the bird to the driver’s that, having had to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting him, had blown their horns.

    Who am I kidding? This was all 15+ years ago. I’m sure he’s on the wrong side of the grass by now.

    • Replies: @El Dato
  186. @J.Ross

    …cannot change momentum.

    Momentum? You’re asking people to understand momentum? Half the people on the road don’t. Ever notice how many ride your ass for no reason? I would like to see “understanding of momentum” plotted on the IQ curve, just to see where it starts.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  187. @Fmillik

    You pull up behind a car at a red light that you know has an unusually brief green–barely 6 seconds. When the light turns green, the driver ahead of you doesn’t move. He’s looking at his phone. You beep. He looks up, steps on the gas and makes it through the yellow, leaving everyone behind him to wait another cycle. Maybe summary execution would be considered too severe a penalty, but I say whatever it takes.

    • Replies: @SafeNow
    , @Jim Don Bob
  188. bomag says:
    @Jack D

    A human driver might (or might not) have seen this pedestrian but the self driving car was just not set up for such a blatant and unexpected violation of the rules…

    Important point. In my environs, there was a recent suicide where a guy hid alongside the road at night, then jumped out in front of a car.

    I’m guessing that the increase in deaths is just one aspect of a country that is coming apart at the seams in various ways. We have superficial prosperity and a “good” economy right now but the rot in the society keeps extending deeper and deeper within and manifests itself in various ways.

    Well said. We have record amounts of leisure and wealth, but it’s not translating into happiness.

  189. @Paleo Liberal

    I don’t know what the hell those Badgers have been teaching you, P.L. F mv^2. Kinetic Energy, KE = mv^2. The forces depend on lots of things, such as the compliances, and elasticities of the parts being crushed, but basically the deceleration rates of the various people and parts involved.

    We have cops daily around the school zones, giving tickets. I feel bad for people getting ticketed for, say, 30 mph, in the 25 mph zone, as 25 mph is almost physically painful to drive at. However, I think cops with some common sense go for the people doing 40. Additionally, the cop lights along with the slow traffic keep drivers heads on a swivel and not on their phones for that 1/4 mile stretch.

  190. Jack D says:

    How can anyone press the gas pedal inadvertently??

    Audi 5000 was primarily sold in Europe, where (in those days) most cars had manual transmissions. For the American version, they installed an automatic and just deleted the clutch pedal, without moving the brake pedal or making it bigger. For people used to driving American cars this put the brake pedal too close to the gas.

    • Replies: @Alden
  191. SafeNow says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    “you beep”

    The California driver’s handbook cautions: If another driver misbehaves, do not honk, because he might “retaliate.” “Retaliate” does NOT mean “honk back.” It means “kill you.”

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
  192. I don’t use a so-called “smart” phone, but I seem to recall 2009 being the year Facebook really exploded onto the social media scene. It’s not unreasonable to think that might have coincided with the start of a big uptick in phone-related blundering in front of moving cars. I know the University of Iowa has paid to for print ads urging their students to look both ways before crossing the street, because apparently “smart” phone-benumbed zombies lose access to the knowledge that one is supposed to do that. Or something.

  193. Jack D says:

    It also re-routes you, or will not route you through, certain neighborhoods

    So you’re telling me that Waze is racist?

  194. J.Ross says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    I’d like the licensing exam to embrace the sensible Finnish practice of a year-round ice driving test.

  195. J.Ross says:

    Mexico does have elevated walkways to avoid this very problem.

  196. @Noman

    Idiot pedestrians are a big factor but driving is the ultimate Dunning-Kruger activity — have you ever heard anyone, aside from a few cautious seniors, admit to being a lousy driver?

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
  197. mmack says:
    @Jack D

    The Hyundai we just bought still has some “tactile” controls (on/off/volume and station tuning radio buttons, one press switches for A/C fan speed) in the center of the dash, but things like radio station memory (Ye Olde Push Buttons beneath Ye Olde AM/FM Radio in thine Olde Chariot) are via the center touch screen, along with changing from AM -> FM -> Satellite on the radio. My 2013 Ford still has buttons for all those functions. Also, I prefer the radial switches to set the A/C fan speed, or the temperature.

    I couldn’t imagine using a touch screen to open the damned windows or unlock the doors.

  198. @Anon

    Yes, it is 1/2 MV**2 for the kinetic energy.

    I got my freshman physics wrong.

    Still, the point is valid. Doubling the speed quadruples the energy, which can make the difference between a tap and a fatally, esp with kids.

    The difference between 20 mph and 25 mph in a school zone may seem trivial, but if a small child runs in front of the car, the difference in stopping distance and energy of impact can make all the difference in the world as to how badly the kid is hurt, and even whether the kid survives.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  199. Anonymous[129] • Disclaimer says:

    The cars themselves are engineered toward accident, particularly hitting peds. That is, dashboards are loaded with distractors–messages from engine and radio, compass readings, maps that pinpoint where you are. It’s like driving while watching TV.
    Then, too, there’s an arrogance among blacks by which they refuse to obey ped laws, or even look both ways.. They just bolt blindly into city streets, aware that a whack is good fo’ free shit from da white man.

  200. El Dato says:

    – Reduced visibility in cars. The combination of lower roof lines for aerodynamics and government requirements for safety mean less glass area to see out of and now the A pillars (they hold the windshield) have airbags built into them which makes them wider. On both of our cars you could miss seeing a pedestrian if they were in line with the A pillar.

    Yeah this. I narrowly escaped a few crashes until I got the reflex to approach roundabouts SLOWLY and CAREFULLY as both pedestrians and cars cluster exactly in the angle covered by the pillar as you approach and stay there. Constant Angle, Decreasing Range etc.

  201. El Dato says:
    @William Badwhite

    This was all 15+ years ago.

    That’s practically before the Internet, mon.

  202. @William Badwhite

    People unwilling to put down their phone and pay attention to their driving are a huge problem and are frankly assholes. I believe the seeming rise in general assholishness is a function of our increasingly multicultural and atomized society.

    Having regard for and courtesy to others (even strangers) is a civilization thing. Importing uncivilized people while at the same time encouraging the civilizationally-challenged we already have here has, not surprisingly, led to a decline in the quality of civilization.

    Great comment Mr. Badwhite.

  203. Camlost says:

    Ha!! Yes, that area has lots of fusion “Takoreas” here and there.

  204. Wilkey says:
    @Jack D

    I can’t imagine how anyone could think driving when you’re “a little high” is safe. I used pot maybe three times in college. I nearly got lost walking down a straight hallway from my friend’s apartment to my own. Can’t imagine getting in a car and driving. I wouldn’t be shocked if increased legalization, which also matches the timeline for the pedestrian death increase, has something to do with it.

    I’d like to see pedestrian deaths (per capita) on the same graph as crime rates. It seems like they match up pretty well.

    There are a lot of things happening all at the same time that could each be contributing something to the increase.

  205. @Jack D

    I am definitely seeing increased assholishness all over the place.


    Non-assholishness mostly takes people with a decent level of “cooperation”, but it also takes a common culture both in terms of “esprit de corps”–we’re all in this together–and simply in agreeing what the “norms” are.

    All of these are in decline with immigration, multiculturalism, minoritarianism.

  206. Alden says:
    @R.G. Camara

    Yes, LA cops used to ferociously enforce the jaywalking laws. That was in the olden days when LA was mostly White. There are very few patrol cars in LA so almost no traffic enforcement. I live about 5 blocks from a police station and I very seldom see a patrol car even at 7:am 3/pm shift change

    In my neighborhood from about 1/pm to 7/pm the crosswalks are completely blocked by cars. In fact, the cross streets are blocked by cars sticking out of the cross walks into the car lanes. Sometimes there’s only about one and a half lanes for through car traffic. The cars with the green light have to take turns going through the intersection. Pedestrians use the crosswalk on the green light walking around the cars like an obstacle course.

    There’s street lights every block. With left turns but not left turn signals. So it’s stop and go traffic. 5 to 0 miles an hour for a couple miles.

    I belong to a property owners association. Every time there’s a meeting I lobby for left turn signals and left turn signals every 3rd block and no left turns at the other intersections.

    Lots of fender benders because of left turns. It’s usually not the fault of the person making the left turn. It’s usually the fault of some FOB Armenian Persian Russian Israeli man who insists on T boning into the car making the left turn because he has the right of way. That’s why I make right turns and go around the block or make a U turn.

    Even with all the blocked cross walks and partially blocked car lanes in intersections and pedestrians walking around an obstacle course of cars in the cross walk when they have the green light, there are hardly any accidents in this neighborhood which has the most congested intersection in the country. Everybody’s careful so very few accidents.

    I drive on high alert, like a buck in hunting season. I assume everyone’s either an idiot or getting ready for a staged accident for insurance. City street driving I tend to keep my foot over the brake instead of the gas pedal in heavy traffic.

    I feel a lot safer on freeways even in 0 to 15 MPH traffic.

    Worst driving I ever saw anywhere was in Los Angeles. 6 lanes, 3 in each direction Van Nuys blvd a very long main city street always heavy traffic about 4/30 pm.

    A car was in the far left lane stopped at the red light. The second the light turned the driver decided he just had to make a right turn. So he went across 2 lanes of traffic to try to make the right turn. 2 cars crashed into him. 2 more cars rear ended those cars. 2 more cars rear ended those cars. So 7 cars because of the idiot who just couldn’t go a couple more blocks to get into the right lane. No one was hurt full stop to 3 MPH

    Driver was some kind of Armenian Persian Israeli. Drunk Hispanic Indians are a problem especially when they don’t really know how to drive. But these immigrants FOB from the bully countries are just as bad.

    As my old high school driving teacher said, every car, pedestrian motorcycle child and dog is a hazard. Be safe.

    • Replies: @anon
  207. @O'Really

    The problem with initiatives like Vision Zero is that they diminish the salutary effects of Darwinian Evolution by Natural Selection.

  208. @DaKine

    An acquaintance of mine always crossed at the crosswalk … until one day an impatient bitch ran him over.

    The light was red and the Walk signal was active. He started crossing the road. The car in the right-turn lane stopped and waited for him to pass. The lady was in the same lane, one car behind. Without reducing speed, she swerved around the stopped car and tried to make a right turn from the center lane. My friend just happened to walk right in front of her.

    He survived, but he will never walk again.

    I have learned that the safest place to cross a road is halfway between two intersections. If I do use the crosswalk, I never wait for the Walk sign. When the coast is clear, I go across.

  209. @Wilkey

    Re #1, remember too that older cars had a lot more metal. CAFE standards have probably contributed significantly to fatalities, but the impact has to some extent been mitigated by improved passive and active restraint systems.

  210. midtown says:
    @Tiny Duck

    It’s true that there are many things you don’t know.

  211. @Paleo Liberal

    Yes, 1/2. I forgot that in my correction. oops…

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
  212. @Justvisiting

    From a speech Obama gave: “We used to have the best infrastructure in the world here in America. We’re the country that built the Intercontinental Railroad, the Interstate Highway System. We built the Hoover Dam. We built the Grand Central Station. So how can we now sit back and let China build the best railroads? And let Europe build the best highways? And have Singapore build a nicer airport?”

    Why don’t we do great things like that anymore? Because people like him and his political supporters have made it almost impossibly difficult. Was it ignorance or cynical disingenuousness on his part that made him say such things?

    • Replies: @Alden
    , @Art Deco
  213. @EdwardM

    … imagine the social engineering by those who tell you where you should go.

    Imagine the unsociable stuff by me telling them where THEY should go! ;-}

    I LUV maps too. Ed. I’ve got my 8-y/o boy to where he can read a map and tell me how to get from A to B. The wife, as I wrote in post I just finished on this, one time paid $5 to get extra “data” to use her phone to get to a place she’d been to multiple times already – no confidence in her sense of direction/memory.

    I’m trying to recall whether I’ve seen many road maps in gas stations along the highway, as one use to. What do you recall?

  214. Barnard says:

    It is getting worse, typically I count to 3 then honk at a light if the driver ahead of me doesn’t move. Most of the time, I see a head snap up and then the driver floors it. I had to honk at the same driver for not going when the light turned green twice in a span of two blocks once.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  215. Alden says:
    @Jack D

    I never had an Audi. My feet are small, size 6. I can see big feet might be a problem if the pedals are close.

    You guys never wore platform or spike heel shoes. Especially platforms you just can’t feel what your feet are doing. It’s a weird unsafe feeling. So we kept some Keds or ballet shoes not toe shoes in the trunk. I always did.

    • Replies: @donvonburg
  216. Alden says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    There’s a theory that the environmental movement going back to 1960 or before was just a liberal plan to destroy capitalist industry. I believe it.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  217. @Alec Leamas (hard at work)

    outsiders/suspicious types

    In many, if not most, suburbs, that’s redundant.

    As far as getting directions in la terre des culs-des-sacs, if you have to ask, it’s a red flag you don’t belong there. Randal O’Toole has even defended the cul-de-sac (italicized because it’s foreign) in military terms. You surround the intruder.

    Almost all mass school shooters come from such neighborhoods, and commit their deeds there.

  218. @Buzz Mohawk

    While living in a townhouse complex, I had a neighbor who introduced himself to me by pounding on my door at eleven o’clock at night and screaming, “Your f**king car is in my space! You need to move it right now!”

    I could have called the police, but instead I calmly told him that it wasn’t my car. He grunted and stormed off without uttering so much as a syllable of apology.

    He never said another word to me, or even made eye contact.

    He was a lawyer.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    , @Marty
  219. @prosa123

    pickups and SUV’s with higher front ends.

    Pickups and SUV’s are heavier and require a greater stopping distance.

    The best way to avoid car crashes is to increase your following distance and slow down a bit.

  220. @Known Fact

    When I was a kid, my school bus driver used to do that.

  221. Sean says:
    @William Badwhite

    A high proportion of car, cycle, and pedestrian deaths happen at lights.
    Audi is revving up its slick Traffic Light Information (TLI) system. Now Audi TLI can tell you the best speed to drive in order to hit a string of green traffic lights, […] . Already, some traffic lights are sequenced to give you multiple greens if you travel at or just below the speed limit,

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  222. @Achmed E. Newman

    His secretary must be out sick today, and wasn’t available to proof read his billable comment board replies.

    • LOL: Achmed E. Newman
  223. @Logan

    Not everybody knows that the painted lines won’t stop a car. See, they are there to give the accident investigators a point to measure from so they can see how far your body was flung. You know, to see if your family wins a turkey.

  224. Kronos says:

    It doesn’t help that texting has become much easier.

    Flip phone texting was an absolute pain. But now, it’s quite enjoyable. Which grants bad texter/drivers more confidence to perform both tasks simultaneously. I’m biased it assuming the bigger driver (pun is intended) of pedestrian kills are female texters than male ones.

    Most PSA commercials condemning text/driving features female actors and features emotional/personal dialogue (something that works well for that demographic.)

  225. @William Badwhite

    I sit in a commercial truck cab all day and I have a great view of personal vehicle cabins. 5/10 men are on their phones in some capacity. 8/10 women are on their phones in some capacity. This is with blue tooth available in most cars now for about 10 years.

    Anytime a car is late in responding to a fresh green light you can be certain they are playing on their phone.

    With pedestrians standing on a corner, I won’t make the right turn until I see them see me first.

    Many commercial carriers have banned even possessing a cell phone in the cab, including mine.

  226. Alden says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    No blame on the driver who ran the red light? That’s a real FOB Armenian Persian Russian Israeli male thing in California. So is speeding up to make the yellow light and causing a 3 car fender bender in the intersection. So is rear ending someone, getting out , and screaming “you had time to get across before the light changed. “. Or “ I didn’t know you were going to slow down” in bad English

    If you weren’t 12 inches from my trunk you’d have seen my brake lights. If you’d looked you’d have seen the red light 2 car lengths away asshole. If you’d noticed the traffic you’d have seen it was 3 MPH for blocks asshole Go back home where everybody drives like you.

    Bully 4th world culture vs rapidly declining American civilized trust culture.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  227. There is a corresponding increase in hit and run accidents as well.

    An increase in hit & runs may indicate more sub prime drivers such as; non-licensed, non-insured, undocumented……but I do think there are multiple factors here 1. distracted driving (cell phones) 2. There does seem to be some correlation in states that have legalized marijuana 3. The USA’s love of trucks and SUV’s as pointed out in other comments the stats show these vehicles are more likely to cause serious injury or death to pedestrians that are hit by them. 4. Distraction of the pedestrians themselves, I work in a downtown area, I see pedestrians crossing the street with eyes glued to their screens, all the time.

  228. @El Dato

    It’s noise cross-sectionally (in per capita terms NY would be far lower than Phoenix) – but population changes over a 3 year period are generally small enough to make the 3yr trends useful.

    I blame the same thing I’ve blamed since the 1990s: increased driver safety, which enables drivers to ‘trade away’ some of that safety for increased risky behaviour until they reach some new optimum – which may not have a lower level of overall risk.

    If a car has the inherent safety of an MRAP (for the driver), the driver feels less at-risk driving along Insta-snatching other members of the middle quintiles of the IQ distribution. (Is Insta-snatch a thing? Fucked if I know).

    Plus, everyone has been taught that if you pretend that you’re always in a constant rush, people will think that you’re important (or “impor-‘int” if you’re an Insta-Vag “influencer”). Just as people conflate attractiveness for a whole slew of other positive traits, they also conflate being in a rush, with having important things to do, which is almost the same as being literally important. (Besides: speeding doesn’t work: it’s a failed strategy, which is why the only people who pursue it are people who didn’t get anything out of grade 9 mathematiccs – i.e., the bottom 90%).

    The Tullock Spike was an interesting thought experiment, and it lays bare the falsity of putative concern about road tolls. Until it’s implemented all the bullshit “Target Zero” schlock is simply a cover for further encroachment on civil liberties by the scum who live parasitically off the private sector.

    If every frontal collision with any object at above 20km/hr resulted in a steel spike impaling the driver… the pedestrian road toll would almost vanish overnight. (So would tailgating; driving at speeds beyond the driver’s competency in residential areas etc).

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @European-American
  229. @Dan Hayes

    Funny thing is that earlier today I saw someone reading a book while walking down the street.

    • Agree: Dan Hayes
  230. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:

    • Replies: @Bugg
    , @Sean
  231. FPD72 says:
    @Hannah Katz

    Three of my family members (self, daughter, younger son) have been hit by illegal aliens with no license, no registration, and no insurance (in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio).

    The only one who received any compensation was my younger son. He had just gotten out of boot camp a month before, is 6’3”, and was very much feeling his oats. He took the guy’s wallet, removed all of the cash, and handed the wallet back to the alien. He was relatively unscathed but my daughter and I have permanent spinal injuries, with not a cent of compensation.

    • Replies: @Lot
  232. El Dato says:
    @Jack D

    This cheap & nasty interface design is barely liveable on a generic PC and a “smartphone” (how long until you find the setting you are looking for? how long until you understand how that genius bar widget actually work? how long until you rage because you notice the setting has changed automagically with no good reason whatsoever) but in any real-time physical system, it seems it’s a bad idea:

    Surprise, Star Trek: TNG blinkenscreens do not translate to the real world.

    The investigation into the collision showed that a touchscreen system that was complex and that sailors had been poorly trained to use contributed to a loss of control of the ship just before it crossed paths with a merchant ship in the Singapore Strait. After the Navy released a Comprehensive Review related to the McCain and the USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) collisions, Naval Sea Systems Command conducted fleet surveys regarding some of the engineering recommendations, Program Executive Officer for Ships Rear Adm. Bill Galinis said.

    “When we started getting the feedback from the fleet from the Comprehensive Review effort – it was SEA 21 (NAVSEA’s surface ship lifecycle management organization) that kind of took the lead on doing some fleet surveys and whatnot – it was really eye-opening. And it goes into the, in my mind, ‘just because you can doesn’t mean you should’ category. We really made the helm control system, specifically on the [DDG] 51 class, just overly complex, with the touch screens under glass and all this kind of stuff,” Galinis said during a keynote speech at the American Society of Naval Engineers’ annual Fleet Maintenance and Modernization Symposium.

  233. Bubba says:

    Smart phones, legalization of weed and illegal aliens.

    • Replies: @Danindc
  234. Jack D says:

    OT: NY Time has new article about lawsuits against Epstein by some of his “victims”.

    Lisa, whose last name was not revealed in court papers, said in her complaint that she was recruited by a fellow dancer at her studio and that she accepted an opportunity to make money giving private exercise lessons to Mr. Epstein…..

    On her third visit, Mr. Epstein asked for a massage, during which he assaulted her with a sex toy and masturbated, the complaint said. He implied Lisa’s dance career would be over if she did not go along.
    Afterward, he gave her $300 and the book “Massage for Dummies.”

    At this point, Lisa ran from the house screaming and went directly to the nearest police station.

    Oh, sorry, just kidding:

    It was the start of an eight-year cycle of abuse.

    Other victims report similar stories:

    Priscilla began seeing Epstein in 2007.

    Mr. Epstein continued to coerce her into sex until 2010, the lawsuit said.

    Another woman, identified only as Kaitlyn Doe, said in a lawsuit that she was introduced to Mr. Epstein through her sister, who was working for him. She said Mr. Epstein promised repeatedly that he would help pay $20,000 for a critical medical procedure she needed if she complied with his sexual demands. She continued to engage in sex acts with him for money until 2014.

    I think she just confessed to being a whore, but I’m not sure. If you whore yourself out to pay for a “critical medical procedure ” not covered by insurance (plastic surgery? breast enlargement?) are you still a whore?

    None of these women ever went to the authorities. Now that Epstein is safely dead and can no longer defend himself, we can expect many such suits.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • LOL: Aft
  235. FPD72 says:
    @William Badwhite

    The oldest boomers are 73. Do you intend to stop driving when you turn 73?

    • Replies: @William Badwhite
  236. Corvinus says:

    “I’m also wondering if the enormous increase in pedestrian deaths from 2014 to 2016, the same years as the 24% increase in homicides nationally, is another Ferguson Effect of cops feeling unloved and thus spending more time in the donut shop rather than out ticketing speeders.”

    You’re “wondering” generally refers to as a “yes”, but without the evidence. You just let your fanbois and fangirlz fill in the blanks.

    One potential factor for this rise in pedestrian deaths are SUV’s. Fatal SUV-pedestrian collisions rose by a whopping 81 percent between 2009 and 2016, compared to 46 percent for all other vehicles. SUV’s have gained a greater market share within the past decade, as fewer car companies are making sedans. When it comes to car ownership by age, buyers that are ages 25 to 54 purchase most new vehicles. SUV buyers tend to skew a bit older. The majority of new truck buyers (86%) are male, while SUV buyers are more evenly distributed among the genders.

    Among new vehicle sales, light trucks and SUVs outsell cars by a 2 to 1 margin. Automakers addressed concerns regarding fuel inefficiency, high cost, and the likelihood of rolling over and crushing its occupants. Combine that with lower gas prices, and [poof], bigger is better. That is the American way, no different than the boats for cars that cruised the highways in the 1950’s and 1970’s.

    The Detroit Free Press published an investigation linking the nation’s rising pedestrian death toll to the proliferation of SUVs.

    SUVs’ front ends are higher and often more vertical, so chances are they will ramrod a pedestrian in the head or chest, rather than the legs.

    “Does anybody out there know what the insurance companies know?”

    I’ll let the self-described pattern recognition expert figure out how to use this data.

  237. Perfect storm

    Re-urbanization of Whites (more targets to get hit)
    massive increase in immigrants from countries with no car culture – works on both ends, bad drivers and bad pedestrians,
    women again
    boomers getting older
    car design
    nearly all cars are silver white or black — least visible colors

  238. Art Deco says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    He’s a sometime lawyer who drew a salary for 12 years from the University of Chicago Law School (while publishing nothing). He took time out betwixt and between to run the Chicago Annenberg Challenge into the ground. His background in any discipline where quantification and robust operational measures of competence is to be found is about nil. Accounts of how he worked is that other people vetted personnel and then he had a pro forma interview with them and endorse the staff choice; that he’d receive memoranda with three canned options appended and that he’d check one and add some inane marginalia. There’s a reason Thomas Sowell saw him as a gassy phony (not the count of first-person singular in his speeches).

    • Agree: Bubba
  239. Bubba says:

    I missed this one… he’s right about bicyclists.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
  240. Like the others here, I’m guessing smartphone usage by drivers, rather than by blissed out pedestrians listening to music, is the culprit. Parents, especially, find it very hard to ignore and not respond to text messages from their children, even if they are otherwise disciplined drivers. Of course, that alone would not likely be the reason, but it is an illustration of how strongly distracting the damn things can be.

    In general, glass screen control interfaces, with their total lack of tactile feedback and context-sensitive tendency to change input functionality, are a nightmare, obviously, when physical multitasking of any sort is required. There’s a reason why combat aircraft still have lots of buttons and switches.

    A secondary factor might be the vastly reduced side and rear visibility from the driver seat in car designs in the last decade, though I speculate that it may be forward visibility that is the most relevant in most of these accidents, and that hasn’t changed.

  241. Anonymous[173] • Disclaimer says:

    They have more cameras and wizbangs, but cars have also gotten chunkier, with wider roof pillars, higher window ledges, and all sorts of other things that will inhibit your ability to see a pedestrian .

    But like everyone else here, probably cellphones. Even since the 1973 corvette lost it’s chrome kneecapper front bumper for pedestrian safety, cars have steadily become more pedestrian friendly (or shaped like a bar of soap, if you want a car meme).

    I sent my first cellphone text in 2009.

  242. davidh says:

    For some model years, Toyota engine control firmware was a very poor quality and received a writeup in EDN describing the consequences: unintended acceleration.

    From the writeup at :–Bad-design-and-its-consequences

    Barr’s ultimate conclusions were that:

    Toyota’s electronic throttle control system (ETCS) source code is of unreasonable quality.
    Toyota’s source code is defective and contains bugs, including bugs that can cause unintended acceleration (UA).
    Code-quality metrics predict presence of additional bugs.
    Toyota’s fail safes are defective and inadequate (referring to them as a “house of cards” safety architecture).

    Misbehaviors of Toyota’s ETCS are a cause of UA.

    This is a very chilling assessment. I have not tried to follow up on when the problem was corrected, but the fact that exists at all is very problematic.

    I wonder if peaks in pedestrian deaths in some model years could be due to this buggy firmware being present not only in Toyota vehicles but other makes that share the same engine.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  243. Danindc says:

    Yes that makes sense.

    • Replies: @Bubba
  244. @Bubba

    What’s especially dangerous in Manhattan is the Citi Bike program, which allows people who rarely bicycle to get on one and take their chances in perilous Manhattan traffic.

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    , @JMcG
    , @Bubba
  245. Bugg says:

    Happened not far from where I live; Russian/Israeli kid speeding, eating a solid red. Poor guy on the bike was killed instantly, never saw it coming.

  246. @Alden

    No blame on the driver who ran the red light?

    Nobody got run over in this case, Alden, that last part was just a warning. Of course, the driver running the light is to blame, not just for running the light, but most would still give a big swerve to try to avoid hurting or killing someone (it’s a natural reaction for most people).

    You didn’t get my point, and you didn’t read the Peak Stupidity post. The point is that it’s your ass. I don’t care, old lady*, if that electronic signal says “go”, you’d damn well better look around you, as not everyone follows the rules to a T, and not everyone even CAN, based on conditions. You’ve got to teach the kids that: when your legs are broken and you’re breathing through a tube in the hospital, “it was HIS fault” is not gonna make you feel that much better – better take the morphine anyway.

    This total respect for Authoritah that I see out of some people is sickening.


    * That’s referring to the old lady in downtown Seattle in the story, where, long ago, when I was there, people were very rule-following. That doesn’t make you safe, is my point.

    • Replies: @Alden
    , @Jim Don Bob
  247. @Barnard

    Think how it feels on a bicycle trying to figure what the asshole is gonna do, whether you are running the stop sign (usual case for me) or even stopped waiting. Eventually, he will get done with his important work on the phone, and may or may not look around when he decides it’s time to go, and floors it.

    I really don’t care what drivers do, as long as they freakin’ DO IT. Today, some guy was at a t-intersection stop sign, while I was bicycling on the straight-through road. I’ve got my eye on all cars. Well, the guy moves a little bit, so I get on the brakes (my hands are ALWAYS on them) then he stops, then he creeps up a bit… he saw me mouth “WTF are you gonna do?!” If he wanted to cut right in front of me, at least I would know it. He finally waved nicely, and I kinda shook my head.

    GO or stay STOPPED – pick one!

  248. @Stan Adams

    He was a lawyer.

    I rest my case, your Honor. Stan, don’t take it the wrong way – this guy was probably just one of the 99% of lawyers that give the others a bad name.

    As to your story, I’ve heard it before:

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  249. Huck says:

    Almost 250 comments so far and no one sees the elephant in the room.

    Year Pedestrian Deaths +/- Homicides +/-
    2009 4,109 15,399
    2010 4,302 +193 14,722 -627
    2011 4,457 +155 14,661 -111
    2012 4,818 +361 14,866 +205
    2013 4,779 -39 14,319 -547
    2014 4,910 +131 14,164 -155
    2015 5,376 +466 15,883 +1,719
    2016 5,987 +611 17,413 +1,530

    Net +1,878 +2,014

    Obama’s Reign of Terror (2009-2016) included 2,000 incremental official murders and a quite COINCIDENTAL 2,000 incremental pedestrian deaths. TPTB were on a rampage and many of those pedestrians were targeted…

  250. Lot says:

    Your experience was a hallucination. Hispanic crime, like the Holocaust, is a big myth!

  251. Anon[280] • Disclaimer says:
    @Known Fact

    This is the first I’ve heard of stick figure family decals. I see there is already a robust backlash in the form of funny — and sometimes gruesome — response decals.

  252. @Anon

    I used to live in a neighborhood where someone got a car in their living room. They put tank traps for a fence after that. Never happened again.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  253. Alden says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Gas station maps disappeared decades ago. Only place to get road maps nowadays is AAA.

  254. Sean says:

    A good illustration why you should look even if the lights are for you, but car on car or suv is quite likely to send the driver causing it to the hospital or morgue. People tend to be careful of themselves. which imposes a certain level of care on all parties in vehicles and is doubtless a big part of why the increase is in pedestrians getting killed

    I was thinking maybe getting a run of green lights has become more common because of rewarding drivers with a run, which might mean more impatient people getting runs and less willing to slow down for pedestrians who cross against the lights. I’m sure a lot of fatal accidents of pedestrians are due to driving angry, and not really 100% accidents at all.

  255. @Achmed E. Newman

    I get confused by those equations.
    I once had an interview with SpaceX. It was going really well, then they started asking me about those equations and what they meant. That interview went south very quickly.
    Like, do you really need to know this stuff to get to Mars? Be real.

    • LOL: Achmed E. Newman
    • Replies: @AnonAnon
  256. Jack D says:

    This was trial lawyer bought and paid for expert testimony. For enough $ I could hire an expert to say that the sky is green.

    The only other make that uses Toyota engines is Lexus with minor exceptions.

  257. @JohnDenver

    I was hanging out with some guys from rural Wisconsin a few months back. Stories about uninsured Mexicans hitting their cars.

    It’s everywhere.

  258. Jack D says:

    What we have now is the opposite. Drivers have airbags etc. and feel safer than ever and accordingly drive more aggressively.

  259. Anecdotally, as someone who’s done 100-mile RT daily commutes for many years, I’d also look into wrecklessness/speeding by young, female drivers. The uptick in this that I’ve personally witnessed is massive.

    Young male drivers used to be highest risk, by far. The stereotype of young women drivers used to be that of being slow and overly cautious. Those days appear to be long gone. If true, it would be yet another fallout of our “Act-Just-Like-A-Man” Feminism 3.0 wave.

    Also, insofar as it does exist — and is a significant contributing factor in all sorts of vehicular-related shenanigans today — one could envision insurance companies wanting to keep the lid on such actuarial data, for fear of being called ‘misogynist’, etc.

  260. @Paleo Liberal

    You think that’s bad, well, my friend’s house got hurt in a hit-and-run. It’s a tight corner, and while this car went through a bunch of the bricks in the middle of the night, he was at work. I bet this was the luckiest day those drunkards ever had in their lives. Imagine waiting for the cops, then, “well, let’s just back it up outta the crawl space” and then “I don’t hear anyone coming. Gun it!”

    It missed a gas line by a few inches.

  261. @Harry Baldwin

    No helmets either.

    And plenty of parking spaces were lost to make space for the bike lanes.

    A friend of mine got upset when his monthly parking bill went up due to the increased demand. So he looked up the name of the biggest parking lot owner in Manhattan:

    Michael Bloomberg

    Amazingly, Bloomberg’s personal fortune went up from about $1 billion to about $4 billion during his time as mayor. No one else in the Forbes 400 had anywhere close to a 4-fold increase in wealth.

    Funny how powerful politicians of both parties find a way to get rich off of politics.

    Another example:
    There was a dirt poor Ozark hillbilly, Orval Faubus, who spent 12 years as governor of Arkansas, first elected 1954. Salary was $10,000 per year. Had no money coming into office. In 1967, he paid $250,000 cash to build a mansion in the Ozarks. Do the math.

    • Replies: @Inquiring Mind
  262. bjondo says:

    The 2-party created economy (excluding Trump)
    is forcing more people to walk
    who are not used to walking.

    Also consider degraded infrastructure –
    sidewalks with potholes, chipped concrete,
    wide cracks, poor night lights, and angry liberals.

    Uncrossable highways designed by geniuses.

    Are the auto assailants Dems or Repubs?

    • Replies: @bjondo
  263. bjondo says:

    Need to add:

    In addition to degraded infrastructure,

    many places no sidewalks, narrow/no shoulders.

  264. @Art Deco

    One thing you see in all these cases is that for black nationalists and white liberals, status considerations are paramount. Police officers are deplorables and have moral understandings like ordinary people. They’re getting above themselves imposing standards of conduct on mascots of the Anointed. And we cannot set standards according to the sense of ordinary people because that’s ‘simplistic’. Black nationalists and white liberals look down on law enforcement and their constituents in the broad public, for distinct but congruent reasons.

    Looking on the bright side, at least, unlike the UK, we haven’t criminalized politically-incorrect speech, with fines and prison terms for the unwashed.

  265. Marty says:
    @Stan Adams

    About ten years ago in Marin, it was hot as hell so, while waiting for a bus, I stood under an overpass, an area which also served as a parking lot for a commercial real estate office. There were “(business) parking only” signs everywhere. A guy drove in and found a strange car in his dedicated spot. Seeing me nearby, he charged up and huffily demanded to know if that was my car. I said, “excuse me sir,” and turned around. He pursued, and continued to yell at me. I said, “sir, please leave me alone,” He wouldn’t stop, so I maced him. Yes, I don’t like RE people.

    • Replies: @Stan Adams
  266. @SafeNow

    The California driver’s handbook cautions: If another driver misbehaves, do not honk, because he might “retaliate.”

    I don’t think it’s coincidental that the state that’s now majority non-white needs to put a warning like that in its driver’s handbook.

    In the case I described, failure to beep might have meant waiting through three cycles of the green light.

  267. @Alden

    Of course I follow the law. There can’t be more than a handful of longtime iSteve readers who don’t.

    The point is that it is apparently the law that the driver must stop if there its someone NOT ON THE ROAD at one of these crosswalks (again, no light, no sign, just a little white strip). So, the burden is on the driver to pay attention to sh-t going on OFF THE ROAD.

    It’s a law that was almost certainly passed by the downtown lawyers and other worthless government employees who are too lazy to walk to a real crosswalk.

    It is insane.

    They also passed some law where you have to maintain a certain distance from a biker in the bike lane. Even if you are in your lane, if they are too far to one side, the driver is responsible.

    It is insane.

  268. @Known Fact

    “People love to admit they have bad handwriting or that they can’t do math. And they will readily admit to being awkward: ‘I’m such a klutz!’ But they will never admit to having a poor sense of humor or being a bad driver.”
    ― George Carlin

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
  269. @Achmed E. Newman

    GPS has taken all of the brains out of the operation. If I had the app, maybe I could text Uber to get a ride out of this mess.

  270. R.G. Camara says: • Website

    More than the smartphone, when did driving map apps become popular?Maybe we can blame Google?

    Google Maps was on Apple’s Iphone until 2012, and it started on Android in 2008. Then in late 2009 Google switched to its own internal geospatial data system over outsourcing it. Perhaps that last change was what made the app more reliable and popular, I dunno.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  271. anon[267] • Disclaimer says:

    I was recently in LA for the first time, and spent quite some time in cars driving and being driven around. This may be surprising to you as an Angeleno, but coming from the Northeast, I was struck by how good and courteous the drivers in LA seemed to be. The drivers seemed much more laid back, and would actually yield and let you switch lanes when you turned on the blinkers. In the Northeast, road rage and aggressive driving are common, and drivers in adjacent lanes never want to yield when you put on your blinkers to try to switch lanes. They will slam on the gas to try to accelerate past you before letting you switch over ahead of them. You almost have to plan your lane switches to put on your blinkers and sneak over, because telegraphing lane switches in advance with lots of room will mean cars already doing 75 will try to accelerate so you can’t switch over ahead of them.

    I don’t know if it’s the weather, the generally more laid back attitude, but the LA drivers seemed a lot better than NE drivers.Maybe the constant traffic in LA and the fact that everybody drives in LA means the drivers there tend to be more resigned and yielding.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Jim Don Bob
  272. MarkinLA says:

    In my area, Hispanics (legal and illegal) routinely speed and run stop signs and lights. They have no respect for traffic laws in general. Considering where the hits mostly happen, they are probably the vast majority of hit-and-runs as well.

  273. R.G. Camara says: • Website
    @Harry Baldwin

    “Have you ever noticed that everyone who drives slower than you is an idiot and everyone who drives faster than you is a maniac?”
    —George Carlin

    But more seriously—wtf is a ” poor sense of humor”? I think Carlin was just whining about people who didn’t find him funny.

  274. AnonAnon says:
    @Paleo Liberal

    I was checking out Indeed listings for EEs a couple of months ago and ran across some SpaceX openings. Their application asked for SAT scores. Ridiculous.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @Johann Ricke
  275. @Kratoklastes

    Nice comment.

    But I got curious about:

    speeding doesn’t work: it’s a failed strategy, which is why the only people who pursue it are people who didn’t get anything out of grade 9 mathematiccs – i.e., the bottom 90%

    (which seems unnecessarily snobby, by the way)

    I found this article that seems to support your assertion:

    But in the comments, some people persuasively argue from experience that occasional speeding does sometimes work due to red lights.

    Also, I note the gains from speeding are greatest where the speed limits are low, precisely where pedestrians are most vulnerable.

    So I think “speeding doesn’t work” is dubious. And asserting that so many people speed because they don’t understand math isn’t helpful. It’s a kind of blanket appeal to authority in a situation that anyway is too complicated to solve with a short math proof.

    However, I feel we are on firmer ground if we assert that speeding isn’t worth the risk of destroying lives.

    Though even that is hard to evaluate, since destroying lives is a small risk you take whenever you drive a car, whether you respect limits or not…

    Still, I’m pretty sure speeding is usually not worth the extra risk.

  276. shermy says:

    This young gal the other day was walking in the crosswalk of an extremely busy intersection with her cell in front of her, reading whatever crap…

    I yelled out my window, “Head UP! Head UP!!! Cell phone to your side! Take in the big picture! No cell phone till you cross the street!!”

    She didn’t look at me, but she did everything I ordered of her! If you’re white, and the other person is white, public shaming still works, folks!

  277. @Jack D

    In summary, I’m guessing that the increase in deaths is just one aspect of a country that is coming apart at the seams in various ways. We have superficial prosperity and a “good” economy right now but the rot in the society keeps extending deeper and deeper within and manifests itself in various ways.

    Very well said, Jack.

  278. @Jack D

    With a touchscreen, the only way you can operate it is with hand-eye coordination.

    Darn good point Jack. I didn’t have that on my list.

    The absolutely critical part of driving is … having your eyes on the road!

    I’m annoyed enough at people who can’t hold a conversation without looking at people. (I know a few.) No one’s going anywhere a*hole. We are trapped right here in this car but you’re the one driving so your job is to look *out*. Talk to the windshield and get us there safely.

    Now the car makers are giving people controls that unlike old style knobs, you can’t operate effectively without taking your eyes off the road and looking at it. Brilliant.

    I’m all for improved tech, but this is not improved in a car, it is more dangerous. They need to stop this touch screen nonsense and if they want new tech, move straight on to voice control. (If i was the feds, i’d ban this touch screen stuff.)

  279. @anon

    People in L.A. drive fast (e.g., 80 mph is standard on the 134 going past Griffith Park when there’s no traffic).

    But the the tradition has always been that L.A. drivers ought to be competent and not jerks.

    It’s maybe a class thing — everybody in L.A. drives, so you don’t feel like a Big Man if you own a car. In England, where people are polite on the sidewalk, they tailgate like crazy on country roads.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
    , @anon
  280. Johnmark says:

    Often enough, in my city, the cause is walking while black. Some of our main roads are very long between intersections and people of a darker hue frequently jaywalk. At night. In dark clothing.

    It’s not their fault, though, because they didn’t do nothing. Broad, multi-lane streets with few intersections encourage speeding. At night. When you’re Mexican. And drunk.

  281. Johnmark says:

    Speeding or zipping? I frequently maneuver around some fool who thinks 25 in a 40 zone is the ticket. I pass and get ahead of him in the same lane and pull up to a stoplight seconds ahead while he moseys up behind me. I won nothing? Au contraire. I don’t have to follow the aggravating idiot anymore even if I don’t get some traveling advantage from my maneuvers.

  282. Jack D says:
    @R.G. Camara

    No it was the hardware. Up until say 5 or 6 years ago, average cell phones just didn’t have the processing power and memory necessary to run Google Maps in real time as well as all the other stuff needed on an Android phone. Maybe it would run OK on a top of the line flagship phone but for anything below that, it sucked and was basically unusable. But ordinary cell phones have gotten much better and now Google Maps will run well on almost any current phone.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
  283. Jack D says:

    Seems reasonable to me. They are looking for high IQ folks and SAT is a decent if not perfect proxy for IQ.

    They had just better watch out for racism – this sounds racist to me. Until recently, tech seemed to think that they didn’t have to abide by all the anti-racist crap that has crippled the rest of American industry.

  284. @European-American

    Yes, everything is properly measured in risk-adjusted terms. alpha – risk-adjusted return – is the only metric, and it has to be measured properly… and there’s no alpha in driving faster than the road system is designed for[1] (which averages 4km faster than posted limits, generally – but traffic system designers have really only started to incorporate human tendencies in the last 15 years, and they don’t do that particularly well yet).

    Anyhow – back to alpha (and other metrics).

    Not only is there no alpha, but there’s gamma in risk/speed space – as speed increases, risk increases more-than-proportionately. (‘Risk’ just means ‘volatility of time saved’, here).

    So ‘speeding’ becomes more retarded the more you exceed the speed for which the road system is designed. (Key evidentiary hint: tailbacks at major freeway exits).

    However there is also abundant evidence that speeding is retarded in absolute trip-time terms, particularly in the type of trips involved in most urban transport.

    Let’s use a non-standard trip as an example to get some idea about the magnitudes of the potential alpha if there was no change in risk.

    My parents leave 300km away; the middle part of that journey is 260km on a freeway with a posted limit of 110km/hr; there is roughly 25km of urban and urban-freeway driving (at 40,50 and 80km/hr) to get out of the city, and about 2km of country roads at 50km/hr at he other end.

    What would be the expected gain (to the nearest minute) from travelling at 120km/hr on the freeway rather than 110?

    Unconditionally, it’s about 12 minutes; it’s been years since I’ve had a shit is less time (curse you, Real Racing 3 and Unz Review!!).

    So the additional risk (if any) is being applied to 1 decent shit’s worth of time – or if you prefer, ~$6 at median wages ($30/hr seems about right).

    And that’s on a trip of 300km on mostly-open roads; no stop lights; fuck-all traffic, and zero risk of a tailback at any exit between Melbourne and Sydney.

    12 minutes.

    The expected value of the gain from speeding during the average retard’s commute is almost guaranteed to be WAY less than that (assuming it’s even positive… that their and their ilk’s behaviour doesn’t cause increased congestion at chokepoints).

    Factor in the trip-time equivalent of the probability-weighted cost of the ticket, given that there are cameras, patrol cars, unmarked patrol cars, and camera-sets that time your license-plates’ trip time between the two sets of cameras.

    That $6 (or 12 minutes priced accordingly) goes towards zero after a few trips.

    This is why anecdotes are not a proper basis for analysis: anecdotes are not data, even when there’s a lot of them.

    Also, they don’t generalise – the hypothesis is rejected under the slightest quantitative scrutiny (unless people value their time at significant multiples of the rates that they can obtain in the labour market).

    However the internet is chockers with median±1.5σ retards who want to justify their fuckwitted life choices.

    Anyhow… schlubs will always recall that time where the little green Scénic disappeared in the rear-view distance as they sped past… not noticing that the Scénic was only 6 or 7 cars behind them at the end of the freeway or the next set of lights.

    They remember the 3 red lights they managed to blow through in the last six months, forgetting the 150 times they said “Ah, FUCK!!!” as the car in front stopped when the lights were still amber.

    You shouldn’t be surprised: dispassionate analysis and sensible expectations-formation outside of a specific domain, is not something that ought to be expected from any human being below the top 5th IQ percentile. That’s literally just the way humans are[2], and anyone who thinks otherwise is kidding themselves or bullshitting.

    Dummies speed because being in traffic is the one area of life where they feel competitive. (If most people were genuinely as competitive as they are when they drive, everyone would be a billionaire cardiologist brain-surgeon pornstar astronaut ninja polymath who speaks 20 languages).

    It’s like they’re 100% brain stem and amygdala: MUST GET ON THE INSIDE LANE TO BE FIRST AWAY FROM THE LIGHTS. MUST TAILGATE THIS CUNT IN THE GREEN SCÉNIC WHO IS ONLY DOING 78 IN AN 80 ZONE. COME ON COME ON COME ON… MUST YELL AS I GO PAST… Oh fuck, his car’s right next to me now… and he’s a big guy… pleasepleaseplease-God-make-him-stay-in-his-car

    It’s retarded, and counterproductive since if everyone does it, it creates traffic jams at traffic-control nodes at peak times (when all the schlubs are all equally and desperately keen to get back to their bank’s house).

    Since it takes 3 minutes on the internet to learn about how traffic systems are designed, it’s also evidence of low driver competence and stunted cognition.

    [1] Note I don’t mention the ‘legal’ limit (although generally the posted limit on designed systems is roughly the designed limit rounded down the the nearest 10km/hr); it’s nothing to do with laws or bullshit like that.

    [2] As I will keep saying until I am blue in the face: the now-famous ‘effect’ found by Kruger and Dunning, wasn’t found in some random sample of plain ol’ humans… it was found in undergraduate psych majors at Cornell.

    The Dunning Kruger Effect – a metacognitive failure to understand one’s own incompetence – was significant in the bottom3/4ths of a sample drawn from a student body where the 25th percentile SAT is the 96th percentile of all SATs.

    The 25th percentile for Cornell is 1410 on the new 1600 scale; the median is 1480.

    1410 is (roughly) the 96th percentile for SAT; 1480 is above the 98th percentile. We’re almost talking about PIAAC Level V at the median. (PIAAC Level V is roughly the 99th percentile)

    Now IQ doesn’t map to SAT (or to PIAAC), and psych students will be dumber than some other majors… but the idea that the DKE is only for ‘dummies’ needs to be killed with fire.

    In order to be (somewhat) immune to DKE, you have to be conscious of DKE; and on guard at all times in case you’re our of your domain… and it really helps to be PIAAC Level 5.

    My Scénic’s name is Thibault. His odometer tells me that on average over the 150,000km of his life to date, Thibault has averaged 43km/hr despite having been up and down that freeway dozens of times. I bet if you got the data from the ‘speeding works’ schlubs, their numbers would be slightly lower (I already know this).

  285. Jack D says:

    One thing I have noticed is that Google Maps has an incredibly good algorithm for travel time. Even on long trips, you arrive within minutes of the ETA that it gives you at the beginning of the trip. Possibly later if there is unexpected congestion but almost never (significantly) earlier. Maybe if you drive like a maniac you can get the time down by a few minutes. It seems like there is very little you can do to shave any time off that ETA – it’s already written in the stars the minute you leave your driveway.

  286. @AnonAnon

    I was checking out Indeed listings for EEs a couple of months ago and ran across some SpaceX openings. Their application asked for SAT scores. Ridiculous.

    I’m surprised anyone asks for these. Weren’t they dropped from employment requirements because of some court ruling asserting disparate impact (i.e. racism)?

    • Replies: @Jack D
  287. @Alden

    Audi’s own engineers figured out the problem and were told to shut up, then an independent legal firm came to the same conclusion. They had a few options, the “right” one was to replace the brake pedal with one farther from the gas pedal on automatic cars.However, the lawyers convinced them that doing nothing was the best thing since if they did the recall plaintiffs might use that as tacit admission the design was flawed in the first place and a jury might award them a large sum. By stonewalling the case against them was weaker.

    Product liability laws have lots of unintended consequences. One being that companies are far less likely to voluntarily improve products and another is that they will close ranks, close their eyes and stick their fingers in their ears if someone comes up with a new idea leading to a safer product. They will then never adopt the new idea until the government makes them, and when it does invariably the results are mediocre and overpriced and the regulations interfere with businesses that had nothing to do with the problems in the first place.

    Judge made law in the form of “strict liability” and “joint and several liability” were the start of this mess, combined with product liability insurance.

    A good example is the “SawStop” system. The inventor had to go into manufacture of his own line of saws because woodworking tool makers figured if any of them used it it would become mandatory. Stonewalling was the advice of counsel and they did.

    Two piece split rim truck wheels were another example. They are safe when maintained and assembled correctly, but there are a lot of stupid people working as tire “technicians” and broken or wrong parts were used. The answer was to make them better, but the manufacturers just kept making the flawed designs until finally insurance companies refused to insure any tire shop or truck stop that did not have a policy of refusing to work on them in any way. Finally they just quit making them. Farmers and small trucking companies were incensed because the one piece wheels need huge and expensive equipment to change tires on them whereas the split rims were DIY friendly. Plus, older vehicles had to be retrofitted and some were just junked.

  288. NickG says:

    The car insurance companies must have data on which new safety gizmos actually make drivers and pedestrians safer and which somehow make things worse. Does anybody out there know what the insurance companies know? Do these new whizbang auto-braking systems and the like make things better or worse?

    In the UK I just organised a 2nd hand BMW X1 4×4 2 litre petrol 2016 Model for my ancient Dad — I’m pretty impressed with it though the run-flat tyres generate more road noise than is ideal. Collision control has a sensor in front of the rear view mirror that will activate the brakes. It also has a fancy traction control system.

    The models with collision control benefit considerably on insurance — the difference between having collision control an not is about 35% over the year.

  289. @Alden

    Old People.
    Don’t trust in electronic signage alone.
    Look both ways.
    An accident that is not your fault can still hurt like hell.

    BTW, thanks for the China Boy book recommendation. It was pretty good.

  290. Mr. Anon says:

    Agree. They often seemed determine to hang themselves out as close to the car traffic as possible. The more spandex they are wearing, the stupider they behave.

  291. It would be interesting to know if there is a matching increase in pedestrian death in other nations like Britain where cell phone use while driving is strictly interdicted. Even fiddling with a phone while stopped at a red traffic light will get you arrested.

  292. My best guess: smartphone use, as well by drivers as by pedestrians.

    Selfiecides might just be the tip of the iceberg, smartphone-related traffic deaths seems to be the much bigger problem.

  293. @FPD72

    Aging boomers that refuse to give up their keys killing people with their cars is going to be a thing.

    The oldest boomers are 73

    Apologies if English is not your first (or second) language. Take note of the use of “is going to be”. This means it refers to some point in the future, not today.

    Then in your reply, note the use of “are 73”. This means it refers the current time. As such, we’re not discussing the same thing. Apples and oranges as it were.

    Also, 2019 minus 1945 is 74, not 73.

  294. @Steve Sailer

    In England, where people are polite on the sidewalk, they tailgate like crazy on country roads.

    This is because these are not multi-lane highways and the roads are winding and undulating, so if you get behind a vehicle going slower than you wish to travel, the only way to overtake is to seize the chance of any straight stretch when there is no traffic coming in the opposite direction, and get past the slowpoke or delivery truck before the next bend.

    In many respects the road in England have improved beyond recognition since I learned to drive on country roads there 50 years ago, with almost all small towns now having “ring roads” or beltways to keep through traffic out of town centers and street markets, and roads at least widened so that they have a central overtaking lane at frequent intervals.

    Several of the children I grew up with in England in the 60’s never reached the age of 25 due to road accidents. On one occasion four of my sister’s classmates were all killed in a head-on collision near Bolton Abbey after a night out in Leeds.

    When I first came to the US, I was terrified to make a left turn from a central turning lane, because in England these are not turning lanes, but overtaking lanes and stopping in the central lane would be suicidal. If there was a turn, there would not be a central lane, there would be a roundabout or at least a central dividing strip.

    In the US, the minor local highways tend to be very straight, like Roman roads, with few bends, and large areas of the occupied part of the US are very flat, so not much undulation either over huge tracts of the country. Nevertheless, the number of road deaths seems to be just as high as in England as evidenced by flowers and crosses frequently displayed along innocuous looking stretches of road to mark the sites where people died. In my small town in Florida, two people died in single vehicle accidents within the last month. Perhaps it was raining.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  295. Jack D says:
    @Johann Ricke

    “Disparate Impact” can be overcome if it can be shown that the skills tested on the test are job related. In the original Griggs decision, they were giving IQ tests for janitors (supposedly as a way of keeping blacks out) and the S. Ct. said that your IQ had nothing to do with your ability to be a janitor. If you were looking for welders and gave people tests of their welding skill, that would be OK. If you are looking for programmers, asking for SAT or IQ might be questionable but you could give applicants a test of programming skill or perhaps logic.

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
  296. Jack D says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    In the US, the minor local highways tend to be very straight, like Roman roads, with few bends, and large areas of the occupied part of the US are very flat, so not much undulation either over huge tracts of the country.

    I think you are overgeneralizing from your experience in Florida. Many parts of the US are hilly or mountainous and in older settled part of the US it’s not unusual for even major highways to have considerable bends in order to go around either natural obstacles or existing settlements or to follow the course of a river or valley.

    There are some roadside shrines in the US (a fairly recent custom) but nothing compared to Greece. Driving in Greece is hairraising (in many ways – they use the main traffic lanes as overtaking lanes and you are supposed to move to the shoulder whenever you see a car approaching you going the wrong way down your lane – God help you if you don’t know this). The roadsides are, in some places, literally lined with shrine after shrine. These are often quite elaborate little affairs – not just a wooden cross with a few rotting stuffed animals as you see in the US but little miniature churches with offerings inside of them.

    Single car accidents are not uncommon. In addition to rain, in the north you have snow/icy conditions, animals jumping out in front of the vehicle and substance impaired driving. Sometimes the driver is evading a reckless driver and loses control. The reckless driver zooms off into the night and the accident appears to be a single car collision. Dead men (with no dash cams) tell no tales.

  297. Jack D says:

    It’s really amazing how your perspective changes instantly depending on whether you are the bike rider or the driver/pedestrian. If you are riding a bike, it appears as if the drivers are trying to kill you and the pedestrians are obviously walking out into your path. You get off your bike and get into your car and suddenly the bikers are the aggressive ones. If you don’t ever ride a bike, you can’t see it from their perspective at all. Cars and bikes are natural enemies like cats and dogs, competing for the same territory.

  298. @Jack D

    “Disparate Impact” can be overcome if it can be shown that the skills tested on the test are job related. In the original Griggs decision, they were giving IQ tests for janitors (supposedly as a way of keeping blacks out) and the S. Ct. said that your IQ had nothing to do with your ability to be a janitor. If you were looking for welders and gave people tests of their welding skill, that would be OK. If you are looking for programmers, asking for SAT or IQ might be questionable but you could give applicants a test of programming skill or perhaps logic.

    Jack, you’re the lawyer, but this seems like a clear misstatement of what Duke Power was doing. (At least from what i’ve read.) And a misunderstanding of the old South.

    The HS diploma or IQ test was precisely for employees who wanted to do something *other* than janitorial or other unskilled work. (Duke’s “Labor” deparatment.)

    Duke always hired blacks … into their “Labor” department. I.e. as janitors and the like. Essentially they had a racial caste system, used race as a proxy for IQ; and presumably handled the slow white guys in the traditional informal way. (“Billy Bob’s a good boy, but maybe he shouldn’t be an operator.”)

    Faced with the Civil Rights act, they came up with a more formal system–HS diploma or IQ test results to qualify for the more complicated jobs in other departments. Perfectly reasonable approach and exactly what they were supposed to do.

    What Griggs showed was not Duke doing anything unfair, but the incredible arrogance of lawyers and judges. Of course, they’d never think an IQ test was ridiculous … for lawyers! Just not for anyone doing peon stuff like running boilers and steam turbines in a power plant!

    The truth, of course, is that higher IQ is incredibly beneficial toward competence all across the spectrum of employment. Smarter people are smarter, generally more conscientious, make better decisions and screw up less.

    Of course, in any sane society, the people who determine what the hiring requirements should be for jobs at Duke Power are … people at Duke Power!

    But we’re not blessed with a sane and wise elite, but a pushy and arrogant one.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Jack D
  299. res says:

    Smartphones. Is there any way to disaggregate that data by sex?

    Here is data from 1975-2017,

    Includes a variety of other breakdowns as well. One which jumps out at me is the recent increase has been urban not rural.

    • Replies: @Kronos
  300. Wanted to compliment my fellow iSteve commenters. This thread had a lot of good comments on various aspects of what’s going on our roads to drive up these pedestrian fatalities and how those conditions stem from larger changes in our nation.


    My final thought here:

    “Congested highways” is another $100 bill–more like a $1000 bill–just laying on the sidewalk for any nationalist/restrictionist to pick up.

    The elite can, and do–repealing the law of supply and demand–lie, lie, lie about immigration’s effect on wages. (Despite the fact that the “gains of immigration” are precisely having cheaper labor–“more efficient” production.)

    However there’s no getting around immigration and rising house prices or even more obviously having your ass stuck in traffic on our ever-more-crowded highways. And it really annoys people. Link “immigration” and “congestion” in people’s minds and this debate would be over.

  301. JMcG says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    I’ve seen it both ways. Could be the folks in the big house were doing a hundred miles an hour up their driveway or dumping their Starbucks cups on the lawn. Hard to say who the creeps are in this case. I’d be interested in knowing if the denizens of either place are perhaps subcontinentals.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  302. JMcG says:

    Just like climate change currently.

  303. JMcG says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    I was just in DC. The city is full, and I mean full, of idiot tourists on rental electric razor scooters, the ones that look like a skateboard with handlebars. How are such things possible in a country that can’t have a robust General Aviation industry because of product liability?

    • Replies: @Jack D
  304. Jack D says:

    Sorry, you’re right – I misremembered. The tests were for working in anything BUT the labor department. The Court said that because the IQ tests were broad-based and not directly related to the jobs performed, they were not permissible.

    The response ever since has been to try to devise more specifically job related tests. Then the court strikes the test down – STILL not specific enough -and the employer tries again. The trick (it’s really impossible) is to make a test on which blacks will not score worse but which still tests for what you want to test. All you can really do is make the test so ridiculously easy and dumbed down that blacks can pass it, which makes the test worthless. Using the Power CO’s original benchmark which was average IQ for a HS grad, 58% of whites passed, compared to 6% of blacks. I agree that the decision was wrong, but there you have it.

    If you read the original decision, the premise was that the blacks have been kept down until just yesterday so naturally it is unfair for them to be expected to perform as well as whites – it would be like taking someone who had been hospitalized and asking them to run a race the next day against an athlete who was fully trained. Now Griggs was decided in 1971 (going on 50 years ago) and blacks have been out of the “hospital” and free to “train” since 1964, so you might wonder how long they will allowed to keep their golf handicap. But someone said that we go seamlessly from a situation where Affirmative Action must be maintained because blacks are too weak to a situation where it must be maintained because they are too strong.

  305. Jack D says:

    Because it is TECH. We give anything Silicon Valley a break. This is only temporary – it’s only a matter of time before the trial lawyers catch up with them.

  306. Jack D says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    The wife, as I wrote in post I just finished on this, one time paid $5 to get extra “data” to use her phone to get to a place she’d been to multiple times already – no confidence in her sense of direction/memory.

    Google Maps has a feature where you can download offline maps locally to your phone when you have a wifi connection. This enables you to use Google Maps with little or even NO data connection . In the case of no data connection you won’t get traffic information, voice control, pedestrian navigation or complete business listings. You will however get basic vehicle navigation based upon typing in an address and even limited business listings. This feature enabled me to junk my dedicated GPS devices – there is literally nothing that they can do that Google Maps can’t. This feature will save you a LOT of data at the price of taking up some memory storage. If your phone has the capacity to take an SD card (and it should), these are incredibly cheap nowadays.

  307. anon[304] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Same anon here –

    I did notice that – people driving very fast when there was no traffic. Frankly, the traffic was not as bad as I expected from hearing horror stories on the east coast. I expected constant gridlock, but most of the time when there was traffic it seemed like you’d cruise at a slow but steady 30 to 40 mph. The big difference seemed to be how there was almost always a steady flow of traffic, even late at night. A nice thing was how easy and convenient parking generally was. There was always street parking or a garage nearby.

    Another thing I noticed was just how nice the cars were. Lots of Teslas, Porsches, luxury cars, etc. Most cars seemed to be new or recent models. I spent most of the time on the westside of LA and in the beach neighborhoods, so maybe I didn’t get a representative sample, but even more downtown and east in the city, the cars seemed to be nice. Much nicer than what you typically see in the northeast, where cars don’t last as long because of the weather. Angelenos seem to be spend a lot on their cars, especially with the expensive gas.

    There were way too many scooters, skateboarders, and cyclists on the roads though. It seems incredibly dangerous to have them all on the road with the amount of cars in LA. There were even cyclists on the Pacific Coast Highway with cars whizzing by at high speeds.

  308. Jack D says:

    I’d be interested in knowing if the denizens of either place are perhaps subcontinentals.

    You really can’t generalize. My former, former next door neighbors were a mixed race couple with an African-American wife – wonderful neighbors. When my wife was pregnant and confined on bed rest, she’d bring food over. Really a saintly person so like most saints she died young.

    Then they were replaced by an Irish-American couple. They were both nasty drunks. Actually the guy was sort of friendly when he was drunk (which was most of the time when he wasn’t at work) but the wife was a real bitch and being drunk just made her more nasty. They planted tall hedges right up to the property line on all sides. Every week I’d hear them lugging their recycling out to the curb – they could have opened a glass factory with all the whiskey bottles. I don’t know how their livers held up but they moved to a retirement home and they look a good 10 years older than their real age. They sued my other neighbor a couple of times which was stupid since my neighbor is also a lawyer.

    They in turn were replaced by a young family with kids where the wife is (an American born half) subcontinental. Very sweet Midwestern type person and we’ve had no problems with them from the moment they moved in.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  309. Idiots looking at and stroking their nerd dildos as they walk down the street. They’re everywhere. Often with earbuds in.

  310. Kronos says:

    Oh yeah baby! Thanks!

  311. EdwardM says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Contrary to @Alden’s experience, I seem to recall maps being available at gas stations in the U.S. and Europe. Maybe not as much as they used to be, but they haven’t disappeared completely.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  312. @EdwardM

    I think I bought a big map at a Colorado gas station in 2017 when driving from Denver to Los Angeles. On that route, you have to decide pretty early whether you are going to go north or south of the Grand Canyon, so it helps to look at a large scale paper map to figure out which sights are conducive to which route.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  313. @Marty

    Two of the nastiest people I know are married to one another. She’s a lawyer; he’s a realtor. Together they make a thoroughly unpleasant couple. Their son gives off a strong gay vibe.

    The absolute least pleasant person I know is a 5’2” architect who combines the worst personality traits of Howard Roark (a monstrous ego and an unyielding aura of condescension, but without the talent) and Napoleon Bonaparte. He’s an enthusiastic Democrat. His one saving grace is that he’s unmarried and childless, so his genes will die with him.

    I know a number of crotchety older liberal men – all childless, most single – who exude sheer bitterness and nastiness from every pore of their wrinkled bodies. They are truly insufferable. But the women are even worse.

    One leftist hag with whom I have the misfortune of dealing on a weekly basis has a habit of affecting a “sweet little girl” voice when bashing Trump to her friends. But when she is forced to converse with her enemies (of whom I am one, apparently, evidently because I reacted to one of her diatribes with insufficient enthusiasm), she suddenly launches into a dead-on Bea Arthur impression . Her sunken eyes come alive only when they blaze with hatred of the filthy deplorables.

  314. JMcG says:
    @Jack D

    Jack, I take people as they come. I might raise an eyebrow, but I’m always happy to be pleasantly surprised. That said, my experience with folks who completely deny the existence of easements or rights-of-way (N=3) has been entirely with Indians. FOB Indians in each case, but there it is.

  315. @William Badwhite

    Ontari0 starts testing you regularly for license renewal when you turn 80. My mother gave up driving because she knew she wouldn’t pass.

  316. @Harry Baldwin

    Maybe summary execution would be considered too severe a penalty, but I say whatever it takes.

    That’s far too mild. Drawing and quartering at least.

    Traffic engineers take into account when timing lights that the first car takes 4 seconds to clear the intersection, and each following car takes two seconds.

    So the rumpswab who delays starting even two seconds after the light turns green because he is looking at his F(*(^(^)(ing phone is preventing at least one driver behind him from making the light. I see this more and more.

  317. @Achmed E. Newman

    You’ve got to teach the kids that: when your legs are broken and you’re breathing through a tube in the hospital, “it was HIS fault” is not gonna make you feel that much better – better take the morphine anyway.

    I told my kids this for years. It doesn’t matter much that you are right when you are dead as a result of being right.

  318. @Achmed E. Newman

    Peter Sellers was a very funny guy who died way too young.

  319. @anon

    My experience is that the asshole quotient of drivers increases as you go up the East Coast from DC. It’s almost like a dominance game.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  320. @Steve Sailer

    “I bet to differ.”

    – Thelma (on behalf of myself and Louise)

  321. JMcG says:
    @Jim Don Bob

    It peaks in Boston and then declines rapidly. It’s spreading westwards from the megalopolis as well.

  322. Anon[202] • Disclaimer says:

    Do you know what blog you’re on? There are old people.

  323. Bubba says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    Definitely true and what’s even more amazing (in other cities and towns) are the “Bicycle Lanes” adjacent to automobile 55 MPH (or more) traffic lanes.

  324. Bubba says:

    And it seems to me that it is getting especially bad with drivers using smartphones on the roads today. It’s nearly ubiquitous and I wonder how the auto companies will deal with this issue.

  325. @Jack D

    Aren’t you the admitted FLETC-graduated federal agency spook/police officer?

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