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Drivers of Expensive Cars More Dangerous to Pedestrians

BMW, Audi owners more dangerous to pedestrians

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Expensive cars
Drivers of expensive cars like the BMW and Audi are least likely to stop for crossing pedestrians. Pixabay

Drivers of expensive cars like the BMW and Audi are least likely to stop for crossing pedestrians, according to a new study. This is the latest news.

Published in the Journal of Transport and Health, the study from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) found that people who drive fancier vehicles are less likely to share the road with other users and empathise less with pedestrians.

Drivers on a whole aren’t all that great at stopping for pedestrians waiting at crosswalks: Of 461 cars that researchers examined, only 28 per cent yielded, the researchers said.

But the cost of the car was a significant predictor of driver yielding, with the odds that they’ll stop decreasing by three per cent per $1,000 increase in the car’s value, they added.

Expensive cars
Drivers of expensive cars on a whole aren’t all that great at stopping for pedestrians waiting at crosswalks. Pixabay

“It says that pedestrians are facing some challenges when it comes to safety, and it’s really concerning,” said study lead author Courtney Coughenour, Professor at UNLV.

“Drivers need to be made aware that they legally have to yield. It’s hard to say whether they’re not yielding because they don’t know the laws or because they don’t want to yield, further study is needed to examine that. Until then, the bigger thing is driver education,” Coughenour added.

The study, which analysed video data from an earlier UNLV study, also found that motorists overall yielded less frequently for men and people of color waiting at mid-block crosswalks than for women and whites.

It is also consistent with findings from similar studies on the topics of driver yielding behaviours associated with social class, race, and gender.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in the US, the average risk of severe injury for a pedestrian struck by a vehicle reaches 10 per cent at an impact speed of 16 mph, 25 per cent at 23 mph, 50 per cent at 31 mph, 75 per cent at 39 mph, and 90 percent at 46 mph.

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The research team said their findings are important to public health, given that pedestrian injury and survivability are low even when struck at low speeds.

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas is a public land-grant research university in Nevada. The 332-acre campus is a public institution that was founded in 1957. (IANS)

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Every Second Car to Be Electric by 2050: Experts

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Electric car
In 2050, every second car on the streets could be electric which would reduce global CO2 emissions. IANS

In 2050, every second car on the streets could be electric which would reduce global CO2 emissions by up to 1.5 gigatons per year — equivalent to the total current CO2 emissions of Russia, a new study has predicted.

Under current conditions, driving an electric car is better for the climate than conventional petrol cars in 95 per cent of the world, said researchers. It is a known fact that electric cars are friendlier to the environment and produce fewer greenhouse gases than petrol vehicles.

“The answer is clear: to reduce carbon emissions, we should choose electric cars and household heat pumps over fossil-fuel alternatives,” said study lead author Florian Knobloch from the Radboud University in the Netherlands.

The study, published in the journal Nature Sustainability, found that average lifetime emissions from electric cars are up to 70 per cent lower than petrol cars in countries like Sweden and France (which get most of their electricity from renewables and nuclear), and around 30 per cent lower in the UK.

Electric car
Under current conditions, driving an electric car is better for the climate than conventional petrol cars in 95 per cent of the world, said researchers. Pixabay

In a few years, even inefficient electric cars will be less emission-intensive than most new petrol cars in most countries, as electricity generation is expected to be less carbon-intensive than today. The research team also looked at electric household heat pumps, and found that these too produce lower emissions than fossil-fuel alternatives in 95 per cent of the world. Heat pumps could reduce global CO2 emissions in 2050 by up to 0.8 gigatons per year – roughly equal to Germany’s current annual emissions, it added.

The study examined the current and future emissions of different types of vehicles and home heating options worldwide. It divided the world into 59 regions to account for differences in power generation and technology.

In 53 of these regions – including all of Europe, the US and China – the findings show electric cars and heat pumps are already less emission-intensive than fossil-fuel alternatives. These 53 regions represent 95 per cent of global transport and heating demand and, with energy production decarbonising worldwide, Knobloch said the “last few debatable cases will soon disappear”.

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The researchers carried out a life-cycle assessment in which they not only calculated greenhouse gas emissions generated when using cars and heating systems, but also in the production chain and waste processing. “Taking into account emissions from manufacturing and ongoing energy use, it’s clear that we should encourage the switch to electric cars and household heat pumps without any regrets,” Knobloch noted. (IANS)