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Pedestrian safety

6 Times NHTSA Scolded Pedestrians When It Knew SUVs Were Killing Them

Since 2009, the U.S. has seen a 45 percent increase in pedestrian deaths. In the last year, motorists took the lives of some 6,000 people who were just trying to walk from A to B.

While this was happening, government officials acted like they weren't sure what was causing it.

But thanks to an investigation by the Detroit Free Press and USA Today we now know the popularity of SUVs is the most likely explanation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration -- the federal agency responsible for auto safety standards -- has known since at least 2015 that SUVs, because of how they're designed, were two to three times more likely to kill pedestrians than cars. But the agency has "done little to reduce deaths or publicize the danger," the newspapers reported, even as the number of SUVs on the road has exploded.

While NHTSA feigned ignorance as to why drivers were killing more pedestrians, it blamed victims for injuries and deaths. Below are six examples of the NHTSA using Twitter to blame deceased pedestrians since 2015.

nhtsa tweet 2

Here NHTSA acknowledges the increase in fatalities but offers no explanation:

Here it admonishes pedestrians to "pay attention":

nhtsa tweet 1
nhtsa tweet 5
nhtsa tweet 6
nhtsa tweet 7
nhtsa tweet 9

"If you people would obey signs and signals that wouldn't even be necessary if not for reckless drivers, they would stop killing you":Helpful advice on how to walk, for those who may have forgotten:
Why mandate safe vehicles and street designs when you can blame Pokemon Go? (Not pictured: all the motorists out of frame playing Pokemon Go.)And here's NHTSA alerting drivers to daredevils out there who might be listening to music (since motorists themselves are known to abstain) or ... wearing hats: The above tweet is one example of NHTSA messaging to operators of multi-ton vehicles. And there was a lot of helmet advice for cyclists -- because, again, it's easier to lecture than to provide safe biking environments.

nhtsa tweet 10

But over this period, there was just one tweet that mentioned the unique risks posed by SUVs. It linked to a Facebook post that has since been deleted:Since the public now knows that larger vehicles are driving up fatality numbers, will NHTSA change its tune?

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