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#1 2012-02-25 00:14:16

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,210
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6-year-old killed by SUV in parking lot

Is it just me or is the CARnage of pedestrians this year just really horrific?

- Woman drives ONTO THE SIDEWALK in front of Wheatsville, killing one, injuring another...and keeps going.

- Man crossing Mopac gets hit by THREE cars, one of which doesn't bother to stop.

- Capital Metro bus kills its first pedestrian ever, dragging her under the bus for nearly 30 minutes.

- A hit-and-run driver kills a 20-year-old woman in South Austin.

- And now, a six-year-old is killed by an SUV in a apartment complex parking lot.

Pedestrians make up almost all the traffic deaths in Austin so far this year.

http://www.statesman.com/news/local/boy … 98376.html

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#2 2012-02-25 00:40:40

jmayson
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Registered: 2008-06-28
Posts: 46

Re: 6-year-old killed by SUV in parking lot

Does anyone know if this is true or not?  I haven't been able to find anything either way.

I remember hearing once that some states, Texas included, don't include pedestrians or bicyclists in car crash statistics.  They only count people inside motor vehicles.  So if a drunk driver plows into a school bus stop killing 8 kids, but the driver walks away, the crash resulted in zero deaths as far as statistical reporting goes.

My point being here if this is true, then car fatality numbers are certainly higher than "only" 40,000 per year.

Last edited by jmayson (2012-02-25 00:41:22)

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#3 2012-02-26 00:28:16

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,210
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Re: 6-year-old killed by SUV in parking lot

jmayson wrote:

I remember hearing once that some states, Texas included, don't include pedestrians or bicyclists in car crash statistics.  They only count people inside motor vehicles.  So if a drunk driver plows into a school bus stop killing 8 kids, but the driver walks away, the crash resulted in zero deaths as far as statistical reporting goes.

You can't be serious.  All states report vehicle deaths regardless of whether the deceased was a driver, passenger, bicyclist, or pedestrian, of course.  Those stats are summarized into the national reports.  Here are the reports for Texas, from the TX Department of Transportation.  For example, 354 peds died in Texas in each of 2009 and 2010.

And here are stats from the U.S. DoT, which includes individual state data.

Not only are pedestrian fatalities included, but there are lots of other details and data points available for pedestrian deaths, too.  For example, we can see the percentage of ped. deaths for peds aged 14+ where the BAC was ≥0.08 (36%).

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#4 2012-02-26 05:24:49

jmayson
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Registered: 2008-06-28
Posts: 46

Re: 6-year-old killed by SUV in parking lot

That's why I was asking.  One way to make our streets appear to be safer would be to change how data is reported.  I'm glad to hear I was told wrong in the past.

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#5 2012-02-26 19:49:51

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,210
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Re: 6-year-old killed by SUV in parking lot

Well, jmayson makes a good point: traffic fatalities have nosedived in recent years (22% in five years), for no obvious reason, so it's not surprising that some would wonder whether the reporting has changed.  However, in this case that would require all 50 states to change their reporting methods, which is exceptionally unlikely, and had it happened I don't think it could have escaped everyone's attention.

The main reasons given for the drop in road deaths are safer cars, and the increased use of airbags and seatbelts, but that doesn't explain why bicyclist and pedestrian deaths are down, too.  Another reason given is the crackdown on drunk driving, to which I would say, what crackdown?  Some have suggested that we're driving less as a result of the bad economy, except that driving hasn't actually gone down.

This chart shows how U.S. road deaths are the lowest in sixty years -- not the death RATE, but the raw number of deaths, which is even more impressive:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article … nutes.html

And here's fatality data in table form:  http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Main/index.aspx

So are road deaths really going down, and if so, are the proffered explanations really good enough?

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#6 2012-02-26 20:03:31

bizikletari
Member
Registered: 2009-03-18
Posts: 223

Re: 6-year-old killed by SUV in parking lot

Statesman

"A 6-year-old boy was fatally struck by an SUV in a North Austin apartment complex Friday,"(...)
"It was unclear whether the boy was playing in the parking lot or ran out in front of the SUV"(...)
"The boys' mother witnessed the crash"(...)
"The driver, a man in his 40s, requested medical attention and was taken to a hospital"(...)

"charges are not expected to be filed, police said"

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#7 2012-02-26 20:56:20

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,210
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Re: 6-year-old killed by SUV in parking lot

So?  When the police don't know exactly what happened (e.g., it's possible that the boy ran out in front of the SUV), how can they file charges?

I'm more concerned about the cases where we *know* what happened, and the charges and/or penalties are meager -- and never involve license revocation.

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#8 2012-02-26 23:18:30

bizikletari
Member
Registered: 2009-03-18
Posts: 223

Re: 6-year-old killed by SUV in parking lot

I am, personally, more concerned with the frequency with which we don't know what has happened. But whatever it is, is killing our cyclists and pedestrians of all ages, and either no one knows anything or it is said that the guilt lies on the victim.

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