I regret to come to this conclusion, but news reports confirm that men like me are deadly and morally bankrupt.
First there was the Times article on the NYC Pedestrian Death and Mauling Report (I think that was the name), which said many things about how and why cars kill people in Gotham. The biggest topline finding, though, was that 80% of the drivers who are doing the killing and maiming are men.
The Times article points out the big crosstown arterial routes are the most dangerous, as are left turns, and that New York City actually has a universal speed limit of 30 mph (whoops). The original report from the city (which, interestingly enough, is illustrated almost entirely with random Flickr photos of NYC streets) has other gems, though, that the Times left out:
nearly half the casualties in Manhattan live in other boroughs or outside of New York.
New York’s casualty rate is still 1/4 of the national rate, and far better than any other big city (only Portland was safer among all U.S. cities)
Bike lanes make streets safer for pedestrians as well
The most at-risk: older Asians, the foreign-born, and people with a high school degree or less (no, not because they teach pedestrian safety in college)
For everyone, however, 2009 was the safest year on record for pedestrians
Still, I can’t help but think that the report is aimed at exposing that danger that is… me. Not only are 80% of the drivers involved men, but 80% of the cars are private cars, not cabs (so Mohammed Ali is not just a beautiful man; he is safer than you might think). Like most of the offenders, I don’t drive drunk, but I do drive inattentively at times. And failure to yield to pedestrians is something of a principle with me. Now, I haven’t hit anyone yet, but apparently the city thinks it is just a matter of time.
A couple caveats about the gendered breakdown here. I couldn’t find any numbers on what percentage of overall city driving is done by men. I do know that the most chauvinist part of my marriage is the driving. My wife is a fine driver, probably better than me, but I drive almost all the time. Unless I’m drunk. It’s always been that way. And it seems to be that way for almost all the couples I know. So it’s possible that 80% of all the miles driven in the city are driven by men, which would make the 80% perpetrator rate statistically meaningless.
More meaningful, perhaps, is that men seem to walk like assholes, too. The report says that nationwide, 70% of the people who get run over by cars are men. In New York, that number is 58%. I doubt there are than many more men walking the streets than women (this ain’t Afghanistan, right?), so it must be something about the way we walk, or perhaps about how drunk and high we are when we walk.
If the report is to be believed, some changes are coming our way. More enforcement of speeding and red-light-running and texting-while-driving violations. More “daylighting” of left-hand turns, which basically means taking away parking spaces at the end of blocks, because those block visibility and lead to pedestrian deaths. Apparently New Yorkers really do kill for parking.
A final note about men from the world of philandering: apparently men who are outearned by their wives are more likely to cheat on those high-earning wives. Something about reclaiming their manhood or something. In this, then, I am also a prime suspect (regular readers will remember that my wife makes even more than I, the high-powered dadblogger, do).
That’s all for today. I’m off to go driving around the city, where I will make a series of distracted left turns, running over older Asian people, while getting a blowjob from someone who is not my wife.