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Drivers Declare War on Walkers

Over the last decade, it’s become safer to drive and more dangerous to walk. That’s the conclusion of a new report [1] on pedestrian safety released earlier this week, which documents that from 2007 to 2016, “The number of pedestrian fatalities increased 27 percent … while at the same time, all other traffic deaths decreased by 14 percent.”

Alarmingly, this is not just a medium-term trend, reports the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). In the U.S., “pedestrians now account for a larger proportion of traffic fatalities than they have in the past 33 years.”

Why the increase in drivers killing walkers, as opposed to drivers hitting other drivers? The report fingers those dreaded accessories of the Millennials, smartphones and marijuana, suggesting that increased legalization of the latter—and widespread adoption of the former devices—is leading to more distraction, impairment, and death.

Curiously, there is little attempt by the GHSA to grapple with the very obvious and long-term problem—the conflict that occurs when one attempts to combine pedestrian accessibility with roads that support highway speeds. Even with smartphones locked away and all drivers drug free, there are bound to be incidents in which the operator of a two-ton object barrelling down the road does incredible damage to a defenseless human being of one-tenth the weight. The only sure way to protect the vulnerable party in this situation is to slow vehicles to truly safe speeds wherever pedestrians are present. And the only way to guarantee slower speeds is to create streets—not the all-to-common suburban thoroughfares that accomodate highway speeds—that do not allow drivers to travel through neighborhoods at unsafe velocities.

change_me

Such a transformation of our built environment will require more than band-aid fixes, such as “pedestrian hybrid beacons” (special button-activated lights and crosswalks placed at midblock) and demeaningly-named “refuge islands” recommended by the GHSA report. Only a dramatic paradigm shift will cause drivers to ease off the pedal when they are off the interstate. Such a new approach would call for narrower streets that are not designed for highway speeds—or even what behind the wheel may seem relatively pokey rates of travel. At even 35 miles per hour, there is a 31 percent chance [2] a vehicle will kill you, rising to 54 percent for seniors over 70 years old. In contrast, at 20 miles per hour, the risk of pedestrian death goes down to an average of 7 percent.

To its credit, the Governors Highway Safety Association does call for “road diets that create space for other modes” of transit. But despite its commendable effort to deal with the bad press for traffic engineers generated by road deaths, ultimately it is a group that serves as the representative of state highway safety offices, many of which are located within state transportation agencies. State departments of transportation and their engineers are of course notorious for pushing for more highway miles, and for the “upgrading” of roads to allow for greater vehicle speeds.

Perhaps the oddest omission from the GHSA report is any reference to European pedestrian safety practices, an example from which the U.S. has much to learn. There was a time when the U.S. led the developed world in making roads safer, but by the turn of the millennium, our progress slowed, while Europe and Britain continued to post long-term declines in traffic fatalities—including pedestrian deaths.

Compared to these other wealthy countries, Vox reports [3]

[W]e now have traffic fatality rates per person that are three to four times greater than those in the best-performing peer countries — including Sweden, the UK, and the Netherlands…. Much of the disparity seems to arise from how we build communities and the types of roads we design and construct. In the US, we drive more than any other developed country in the world, which goes some way toward explaining the higher traffic fatality rates. But even when we correct for vehicle miles traveled, we still have higher fatality rates. What we are learning is that the countries with the best traffic fatality records are different from the US in the following ways: a) they live more compactly, b) their road design favors more vulnerable users such as bikers and pedestrians, and c) they have enacted laws and regulations that also favor these vulnerable road users.

The American defender of the status quo might snarkily remark that the experience of older, narrower streets of Europe will never be duplicated stateside. But much of the progress in European road safety has actually been made in the last generation, and Europe once had more traffic deaths than the U.S. According to Vox, in 1970 in the Netherlands, a unprecedented increase in traffic deaths led to a public outcry that included calls to “Stop the Child Murder,” and subsequent changes in road design resulted in dramatic improvements in safety.

Such heated rhetoric may lead policy wonks to dismiss the story behind it. Yet as in so many examples of public policy debates, the language used by engineers and experts also serves to obscure the real nature of the carnage on our streets. If we dispensed with policy-speak niceties such as “pedestrian casualties” and “traffic fatalities,” and simply stated that last year nearly 6,000 people driving a car killed people who were out walking, these incidents begin to sound less like unfortunate accidents—and more like what in a civilized society should largely be preventable deaths.

A similar faith that new technology will magically reduce pedestrian deaths also distracts us from the real issue. Last year, Google engineers submitted patent documents that suggested coating the front of vehicles in a strong adhesive that might “prevent the pedestrian from bouncing off the vehicle after the pedestrian impacts the hood”—like a human-sized fly catcher. General Motors’ best and brightest similarly proposed airbags that would deploy outside the vehicle, perhaps gently pushing pedestrians away like a cowcatcher. Joe Cortright of City Observatory cheekily responded [4] that perhaps “the next frontier is to deploy this technology on people, with personal airbags” worn on our bodies—and that perhaps subsequent designs could include “small but powerful rocket packs, again connected to self-driving cars via the Internet” that “could fire and lift the pedestrian free of the oncoming vehicle.”

True sharing of the streets between all modes of mobility—including one’s own two feet—demands, as Cortright states so well, that walking and biking are no longer treated as a “second class form of transportation.” This transition will require recovering a rather older form of techne, a craft of building human-centered places, that does not need artificial intelligence or other “smart” devices to save us from the mechanical beasts we have allowed to dominate our streets.

Some might respond that in the last century, easy and cheap automobile transportation has given us freedom that is worth trading for the lives of a few errant pedestrians. Such reasoning of course ignores the needs of tens of millions of our fellow citizens who are unable to drive—particularly adolescents and disabled senior citizens—who now must be shuttled from place to place like cattle, especially when walking has been made an unsafe option.

The idea of true freedom as realized behind the wheel also forgets the long Anglophone tradition of liberty as the lack of an ongoing threat of bodily harm—as Thomas Hobbes famously defined in his Leviathan of 1651, freedom is most essentially the “absence of … external impediments to motion.” Over the past few centuries, this might have come to seem a quaint academic notion, but the question of pedestrian safety makes it concrete once again. If safe mobility requires purchasing a two-ton vehicle to get around, are we really as free as we imagine?

Lewis McCrary is executive editor of The American Conservative.

Follow @LewisMcCrary [5] Follow @NewUrbs [6]

30 Comments (Open | Close)

30 Comments To "Drivers Declare War on Walkers"

#1 Comment By DanJ On March 2, 2018 @ 12:44 am

Some technological fixes work. Over here in Europe heavy trucks have automatic emergency braking systems that forces braking when it senses pedestrians in front of the vechicle. It saves lives every day.

The problem in prosecuting drivers for recklessly killing pedestrians is that legislators and jurors are drivers too. They remember that time when they nearly hit a pedestrian themselves, and identify with the driver not the victim. If by contrast an airline pilot or a ship’s captain has caused a death, justice will be much more severe.

#2 Comment By david On March 2, 2018 @ 5:35 am

I walk six/seven miles five days a week in the nation’s capital. I drive 5/600 miles on the weekends. What I see when I walk/drive is pedestrians with mobile devices who are so addicted to them that they won’t look up as they cross streets. I saw one lady with her child in a stroller who kept looking down at her cell phone as she crossed the street with her child. Responsible parenting indeed. Distracted driving is killing over 3,000 people a year in this country a far greater risk to children than mass shootings at schools are but we also have to understand that distracted walking is killing a lot of people too. Story after story about mobile device addiction. I see it every day both when I’m walking and when I’m driving.

#3 Comment By sally On March 2, 2018 @ 8:18 am

Again, much like in the gun debate I think what would be most instructive here would be some good maps and charts that show exactly where accidents are occuring, and look at comparing like with like to see where improvements can be made

I think to a certain extent you could look at smartphone usage, but I think more important is geography. I dont think comparing the US with Europe is particularly instructive, we should be comparing internally. Which cities are doing best, which neighborhoods of each type are doing best, which downtowns. Where are the incidents occuring and compare like with like with similar sized cities and towns and try and learn as best we can from who is doing best. All the towns and all the cities have pedestrians with smartphones. In some locations they are hit by cars less than others, those are the places we should look more at

#4 Comment By Frank On March 2, 2018 @ 8:57 am

Maybe if pedestrians and bicyclists obeyed their portions of the law everybody would be better off. I have NEVER EVER seen a person on a bike stop at any stop sign or red light unless there was a vehicle already in the intersection. And I see lots and lots of them on any given day here in sunny Fishtown. And don’t get me started about pedestrian ignoring the solid red hands on lights at crosswalks. Talk about an entitlement mentality! But it’s all the evil drivers’ fault if they happen to get hit.

#5 Comment By M1798 On March 2, 2018 @ 9:05 am

HT to David: this is also a matter of pedestrians not paying attention when they walk, plus wearing headphones also makes you less aware of your surroundings.

I also wonder if the movement of young professionals to walkable urban centers has effected this? Has the number of miles walked on city streets increased? Does anyone have an estimate of this?

This also should put to rest the accusations that the NRA, or other gun advocates, are accomplices to murder. Lowering the national speed limit, or lowing local speed limits, would save far more lives than banning the AR-15. And gun-controllers and marijuana legalizers have quite a bit of overlap. Are they now responsible for the increase of traffic deaths? (I am pro-legalization btw. I just think being pro-legalization and then implicating the NRA in murder is hypocritical)

#6 Comment By Kent On March 2, 2018 @ 9:10 am

“And the only way to guarantee slower speeds is to create streets—not the all-to-common suburban thoroughfares that accomodate highway speeds—that do not allow drivers to travel through neighborhoods at unsafe velocities.”

Of course there is a reason that we build roads like this. We have to move traffic so it doesn’t get backed up somewhere else. Traffic is like a balloon, if I squeeze it at one end, its going to get fatter at the other. Which means if I slow traffic through a neighborhood, the traffic may back up all the way to a highway causing more traffic accidents.

If you want to slow traffic and reduce pedestrian deaths, dramatically raise gas prices. People will slow down and purchase lighter cars to conserve fuel.

#7 Comment By Matt in AK On March 2, 2018 @ 9:21 am

Fairly straightforward problem to solve, raise fuel taxes to the point that drivers pay the true market cost of their infrastructure instead of subsidizing auto traffic. We might want to add a bit to cover the healthcare costs of a sedentary lifestyle.
-Matt in AK
4-season bike commuter

#8 Comment By Joshua On March 2, 2018 @ 9:25 am

“Distracted driving is killing over 3,000 people a year in this country a far greater risk to children than mass shootings at schools are but we also have to understand that distracted walking is killing a lot of people too.”

Stop perpetuating the synthetic “ped-text-rian” talking point. Yes, it is wise to pay attention to one’s surroundings when walking, but that doesn’t absolve the pilot of thousands of pounds of steel, glass, and plastic from the responsibility to refrain from turning the pedestrian into a wet smear on the street. If you’re driving too quickly to stop for a distracted pedestrian then you’re driving too quickly, full stop.

#9 Comment By sally On March 2, 2018 @ 10:55 am

This narrative of pedestrian vs driver isn’t actually that helpful – all drivers are pedestrians and many pedestrians are drivers, this shouldn’t be a battle of one type of person against another. We can blame pedestrians, we can blame drivers, and we can also try and look at ways of reducing accidents by looking at which locations in the US are doing best. Ultimately making sure fewer pedestrians are maimed and killed is also good for drivers, we are all on the same team after all!

#10 Comment By david On March 2, 2018 @ 12:38 pm

@Joshua: We can talk about who legally has the right of way at intersections, all of it. But in all cases, all of them, bigger vehicle has the right of way, they just do. As I cross hundreds of streets per week, I assume the drivers I face are NOT going to be paying attention. I see driver after driver run red lights/stop signs like they aren’t there. Crossing one way streets I look both ways because I’ve seen drivers going the wrong way on those streets. Name a stupid illegal thing a driver can do from a pedestrian standpoint I’ve probably seen it. My goal is not to be “right” or “wrong” but to get home safely. For people staring down at cell phones either while walking or in the car make a case that those messages that are endangering both you and those around you are life or death and can’t wait two minutes to look at. Make a case the mother with the stroller crossing the street couldn’t wait 30 seconds to look at that message instead of endangering both her and the child. We read so much about defensive driving. We need to educate pedestrians in defensive walking. At the end of the day you and you alone are responsible for your safety and if you are going to put staring at that device ahead of your personal safety then don’t blame others for what happens because you can’t wait one minute to read a message about what movie you’re watching tonight.

#11 Comment By JonF On March 2, 2018 @ 2:31 pm

Just yesterday there was an article in the Atlantic about changes to roadway architecture to better accommodate bicycles, and the gist of it was not “Put the bicycles in the street with traffic”, which was the old paradigm, but rather “provide for delimited bike lanes to get the bikes out of the traffic lanes of cars”. The latter generally involves narrowing car traffic lanes which has a traffic slowing effect. For pedestrians I think part of the solution has to be nothing more complicated that good old fashioned sidewalks– and yet it’s surprising how many areas are developed these days with no sidewalks. IMO any place in or adjacent to residential areas should have a requirement that sidewaks must be included with the streets and these be kept in good repair and unobstructed every bit as much as the streets themselves.

Re: …special button-activated lights and crosswalks placed at midblock

Why would these need to be mid-block? Assuming the blocks are not uncommonly long it would seem that crosswalks at intersections makes more sense for everyone.

#12 Comment By JonF On March 2, 2018 @ 2:40 pm

re: If you’re driving too quickly to stop for a distracted pedestrian then you’re driving too quickly, full stop.

The broad tar brush is in full swing. It’s quite possible (and I have seen it happen) that someone inattentively, without looking, walks or runs right out into the path of a moving vehicle when the vehicle is just feet away. No one, not even the fastest AI, could stop fast enough in such cases. Even if the car were immobile the pedestrian would crash right in it. Look, I walk, I bike and I drive. Traffic safety is EVERYONE’S responsibility. I can still recall the one time I got a spanking as a young child: it was for running out in front of a car. (My mother, I’m sure, was more frightened than angry). “Look both ways before crossing the street: was standard advice for five year olds in those days. Maybe too many kids are not allowed out of sight these days so no one gets that advice and we need to start issuing it to adults instead.

Re: raise fuel taxes to the point that drivers pay the true market cost of their infrastructure instead of subsidizing auto traffic.

But everyone, whether they drive or not, benefits from roadways: everything you buy at the store was transported there by vehicle after all. For true public goods like that, the entire public should be paying, according to their ability to do so.

#13 Comment By fabian On March 2, 2018 @ 2:47 pm

Don’t make America like Europe. There is already one Europe and it’s not fun. There are risk to freedom and speed but suppressing them will turn us into mollusks.
And if there is a real will to protect less protected users of the road, make real accommodations for them. Nation building should start in the US.

#14 Comment By charles cosimano On March 2, 2018 @ 6:09 pm

You have it backwards. The problem is not drivers. It is pedestrians. We need to have roads where pedestrians are not allowed at all and give drivers the right of way. Pedestrians are a lower class of citizens. If they were decent people they would be driving.

If the pedestrians learn their manners, fewer of them will be killed.

#15 Comment By b. On March 2, 2018 @ 7:32 pm

Informative, but too polite. Substitute “gun” for “car”, retry. Throw in “driverless” cars with the algorithmic morality of any hypothetical autonomous combat drone. Play out the coming discussion about vehicular terrorism.

It is a society in decline when “Freedom! becomes nothing more than an empty BS Hail-Mary to excuse an utter unwillingness to admit, confront and attempt to solve an inconvenient problem – no matter how intractable it might in practice prove to be.

Used to be, people died a lot because we had no vaccinations and no antibiotics. They did have their freedom though. That’s just the way it was.

#16 Comment By multimodal On March 3, 2018 @ 12:33 am

It is rare to see a driver that is mindful of their surroundings, let alone one that obeys the law or drives in a way that wouldn’t instantly kill a pedestrian. I drive, walk, and bike, and when I drive in town, I keep in mind that over 90% of people will survive a 20mph impact, and over 90% of people will die at 40mph, so I adjust my in-town speed accordingly to 20mph. I am also acutely aware that as the operator of a huge (and unnecessary but for the incompetence of our zoning codes that require giant lots and segregated uses and prohibit redevelopment to the best and highest use) piece of equipment that could kill anyone in an instant, it is mostly on me to not hit the humans walking or on bikes. To the poster above that complains about bikes blowing through intersections, I can assure you that most of the time that cyclist has a thousand times the situational awareness you do since their vision and hearing aren’t obstructed. Aside from road design that makes it intentionally perilous to drive over 20, which should be a design goal in towns or residential areas of any sort, there is a really easy thing you can do to help solve the problem: drive slower and learn to actually manage your time and leave ten minutes earlier or whatever.

#17 Comment By sally On March 3, 2018 @ 5:11 am

Is there nothing that we can’t reduce to them and us?

Drivers vs Pedestrians
Americans vs Europeans
Liberals vs Conservatives
Gun-rights people vs Gun-control people?
This side vs That side

In sport the aim is for one side to defeat the other, we are enriched when our opposition is defeated.

But is our aim to defeat pedestrians, conservatives, environmentalists, drivers, gun owners, liberals? Maybe it is?
The win is ‘reduced number of accidents’, everyone would like this result

Our aim should be to reduce road deaths and injuries, not to malign either drivers or pedestrians, neither are the enemy! We want the same thing, an eventless journey to our destination with no injury, inconvenience or damage.

#18 Comment By cka2nd On March 3, 2018 @ 5:18 am

Hey, I’m a born and bred New York City boy. Jaywalking is a birthright of ours, it says so right on my birth certificate, but even I know to look both ways when I cross the street. However, if there’s one thing that I would like to see either thoroughly re-designed or severely curtailed, it’s “Right-Turn-on-Red.” I’ve nearly been killed twice because drivers are so concerned about turning into traffic approaching them from their left that they often completely ignore their right and so miss pedestrians who have the damned green light right-of-way. I understand how useful “Right-Turn-on-Red” can be for drivers, but it can be a real hazard for pedestrians, no matter how attentive they are.

Bring back The American Conservative Center for Public Transportation! It did some great work exploding the tropes, junk reasoning and shoddy research of libertarian car apologists.

#19 Comment By DrivingBy On March 3, 2018 @ 10:17 am

Not mentioned is an old theory:

As cars become safer for the occupants, drivers unconsciously adapt by being less concerned about crashes. It’s now possible for someone in good condition (under age 25 let’s say) to survive a high-speed, multiple impact wreck that would have been a sure fatality 20 years ago, and that property isn’t confined to high-end vehicles.

#20 Comment By General Manager On March 3, 2018 @ 1:58 pm

Come to San Francisco. We have the worst drivers in the world. The SF Muni drivers in large are a cranky
and ill-spirited lot. The riders generally seem like recent immigrants beret of English skills. Mandarin has replaced Spanish and English. All fun as our Divine Diversities on the Board of Supervisors tells us every day. Press 1 for Mandarin, 2 For Spanish, 3 For Hindu…..6) For English. Sprint across intersections and forget walking on the right. Come and have a jolly time and no worries Trump and ICE are unwelcome.

#21 Comment By Wilfred On March 3, 2018 @ 5:30 pm

A defenseless human being one-tenth the weight of a two-ton object would have to weigh 400 lbs.

At least, all that extra lard will give him some padding.

#22 Comment By tzx4 On March 4, 2018 @ 10:38 am

My two cents worth:
In my 50 years of driving, I would say that pedestrians have become less aware and careless. It amazes me how often a pedestrian will put their body on a collision course with my vehicle, and they never even look. When I am a pedestrian I never do that. Trusting drivers is a potentially fatal error. I was taught as a child in school in the 60’s to stop, look both ways and cross when safe to do so.
In my limited driving in Germany years ago. I marveled at the aware and calculating pedestrians. The used their eyes, and I very rarely had to slow down due to their timing their crossing.

#23 Comment By dana On March 4, 2018 @ 11:36 am

Most American cities and towns are not designed for pedestrians. Older cities like NYC are not designed for cars. This is why we have so many Pedestrian accidents. In heavy urban environments like NYC cars should not be allowed as the public transport system works. The only cars/buses/trucks allowed in should only be to ferry groups of people in and out, and for deliveries of food, and bulk items. Now in the Suburbs, there is no safe way for pedestrians to get around, hence the need for either sidewalks, public transport, or bike paths

#24 Comment By Dusan Radosavljevic On March 4, 2018 @ 9:04 pm

Motorists vs pedestrians – 87 years late.

Ilf & Petrov in 1931 already have identified the problem in their

Little Golden Calf
Transl. Anne O. Fisher, 2009
Publ. The Russian Life Books
Montpelier, VT

Really fun to read the satire written so long ago.

#25 Comment By Michael Fumento On March 4, 2018 @ 11:39 pm

Americans generally, compared to Europeans and Canadians, are crummy drivers. Check the accident data. Yet 70 percent consider themselves better than average. Why so crummy? In part because you practically get a US driver’s license from a vending machine. In Germany it’s six months and Canada it’s over a period of two years.

But it’s the same wild west mentality that has people defending buying military rifles practically from vending machines. Hint: The wild west wasn’t fun.

#26 Comment By JeffK On March 5, 2018 @ 11:11 am

I live in a smallish college town. When on projects I often work in big cities (Pittsburgh, Chicago, San Diego, etc). A couple of observations.

Where I live I see college students with their faces buried in their phones, walking directly in front of cars when the cars have a green light. When there is a car/walker accident, and the pedestrian is at fault, they are often ticketed, even if they are injured (as they should be).

I think it is time to look at banning cars in some city centers (tough to do without the needed out-of-center parking with shuttles). Take Pittsburgh, for example. Horrible car/pedestrian design during almost every hour from 7 AM till 8 PM. Sometimes only 2 cars make it through a green light before it turns red.

The gas tax should be raised significantly, both to discourage driving and to fund infrastructure and mass transit. Parking in city centers should also be taxed heavily. Telecommuting (for both work and services) should be strongly encouraged.

Having to drive and park in the center of Pittsburgh to obtain some type of government service is insane. Most interactions should be on line.

Lots can be done.

#27 Comment By Brendan Sexton On March 5, 2018 @ 11:46 am

Two items from research in our most pedestrian-centered city, NYC: first, stats show that just over 70% of pedestrian deaths are from incidents in which the pedestrian was walking IN the crosswalk, and WITH the light, and struck by a turning vehicle. Interesting–don’t know what it means for law or policy, but it diminishes the impact of all the comments here (and everywhere) about the pedestrians not being careful enough –because of mobile devices or other.
Second, the figures show that introducing bike lanes reduces casualties among bicyclists, pedestrians AND drivers/car passengers. No one knows exactly why–it could just be that the presence of bikes/bike lanes makes everyone stop a microsec longer to look around more carefully–but for whatever reason, these trends are strong and show up wherever measured.

This finding does have obvious policy and program implications: lots more bike lanes! good for everyone.

#28 Comment By Anna On March 5, 2018 @ 6:58 pm

All these motorists here laying it all on “careless” pedestrians – as a habitual pedestrian, I can testify that I am nearly hit by motorists at least once a week at crosswalks with the light in my favor, because about 50% of motorists here (Denver area) don’t stop before turning right on red or at stop signs and never, ever, EVER turn their heads to make a shoulder check before turning. And yes, as an alert and aware adult pedestrian I can save myself by exercising extreme caution.

But what about kids? I’d like to be able to teach my son to walk to nearby destinations like the public library, park, or friends’ houses. But how do you teach a kid that whether the law says they’re allowed to cross or not, they must always make eye contact with any driver and assume idiocy and criminal irresponsibility on the part of all motorists by default? Children are great rule-followers, but teaching them defensive strategies against rule-breakers is another thing altogether.

#29 Comment By zuchodrig On March 10, 2018 @ 3:33 am

charles cosimano, they are already here – they are called freeways.
In the table called “Motor Vehicle Fatalities, Vehicle-Miles, and Associated Rates ” on bts gov site you can see they are about twice safer per vehicle-mile than other types of roads. They don’t distinguish ‘interstate’ divided freeways and other divided freeways, summing them with ‘arterials’

#30 Comment By EAJ On March 17, 2018 @ 11:28 am

Obviously both pedestrians and drivers are guilty of being distracted now more than ever, but pedestrians aren’t piloting massive metal machines at 25-55 mph.

What is not brought up though, is the fact that much of the country drives terrible vehicles. SUVs and trucks, the best selling vehicles today, simply don’t brake or handle as well as car. My 1.5 ton Honda can stop in almost half the distance as my 3 ton Suburban, and it can swerve to get out of a bad situation much quicker. And in a car/pedestrian collision a measure of inches difference can drastically affect the outcome. Combine that with someone talking or texting on their phone and reacting even a second or two later than a non distracted driver and the pedestrian has no chance.

I gave up riding my bike a few years ago- the same rural North Carolina roads I freely road on as a kid 40 years ago scare the h*ll out me now- drivers don’t slow down, don’t pay attention, barely make an effort to give the rider room and frequently yell or throw things out the window, apparently angry that they will reach their fast food joint .025 seconds later because they had to get around a bicycle.