Skip to Content
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Log In
Streetsblog USA

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
false

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

Here it admonishes pedestrians to "pay attention":

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

"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
false

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?

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog Los Angeles

Measure HLA Is Now Officially Law for L.A. City

Check the city maps to find what bus, bike, and walk improvements are coming to streets in your neighborhood

April 12, 2024

Metro Releases Final Environmental Documents for Southeast Gateway Line

The new Southeast Gateway Line EIS/EIR doesn't have major changes compared to the draft EIS/EIR released in 2021

April 10, 2024

Open Streets Events Coming this Month: Mission-to-Mission and Venice Blvd

Enjoy CicLAvia on Venice Boulevard on April 21 and Active Streets' Mission-to-Mission on April 28

April 9, 2024
See all posts