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News research from the West Coast finds drivers show a clear racial bias against black pedestrians, failing to yield for them at crosswalks. Seems like a minor racial micro-aggression? Well, the researchers suggest that this treatment of black pedestrians might lead to fatalities. The Oregonian reports:

Conducted in downtown Portland, the joint Portland State University and University of Arizona study found that twice as many drivers failed to yield for black pedestrians than those who were white. Meanwhile, black pedestrians typically had to wait a third longer for cars to stop for them when they had the legal right of way.

With fewer motorists yielding for them, minorities are more likely to take greater risks to cross the street, which might factor into why they’re disproportionately represented in U.S. pedestrian fatalities, the study concluded.

“In a fast-paced activity like driving, where decisions may need to be made in a fraction of a second, people’s’ actions can be influenced by these subtle attitudes,” the study said. Read more.

What do y’all think about this research? Do you ever feel as though cars fail to yield for you because you’re black? We want to hear from you in the comments.

Walking While Black: Drivers Show Bias Against Black Pedestrians was originally published on

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5 thoughts on “Walking While Black: Drivers Show Bias Against Black Pedestrians

  1. I work in Houston, TX and the major street infront of the State Office Building is Polk street. While there is a pedestrian sign, some drivers stop and some dont. The employees are are mixture of AA, Hispanic and Caucasian.. I feel for the most part folk pay attention to the sign and yield to pedestrians. But that’s not all the time.

  2. Redz on said:

    If you ever want to study or find out what it is like to be on this side of ignorance, please visit Buffalo, NY! Otherwise I’d believe that you aren’t really searching for truth at all. We have got everything you neeed to know! Wow.

  3. Camella Jenkins on said:

    I’ve also seen them speed up before I or another black pedestrian crossed the street from harms way. That is hateful and overall plain stupid! But when we stop for some of them as pedestrians they drag across the street like a snail, that’s still being hateful and stupid at the same time.

  4. Camella Jenkins on said:

    This is true because I’ve personally experienced it and have seen it happen to other black pedestrians. People can be so mean, evil and hateful from a racial standpoint.

  5. I think a follow up study of the the disproportionate number of blacks who,ignore pedestrian signs would make this data more relevant.
    Holla’ at the Scholar

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