Pedestrian deaths have been rising for a decade. Mostly in America, and mostly at night. Why?

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

Emily Badger, Ben Blatt, Josh Katz for the New York Times: Why Are So Many American Pedestrians Dying at Night?

What’s even more perplexing: Nothing resembling this pattern has occurred in other comparably wealthy countries. In places like Canada and Australia, a much lower share of pedestrian fatalities occurs at night, and those fatalities — rarer in number — have generally been declining, not rising.

This is a really interesting phenomenon, and the article goes through a bunch of possible reasons (likely covering what your mind immediately goes to), but as they show, none of these reasons fully account for the uptick.

Individually, any of these theories seems unsatisfying. But put together, it’s clear that there’s been a particularly American mix of technological and social changes over the past decade and a half. And they have all come on top of a road system and an ingrained culture that prioritizes speed over safety.