Q: You frequently note that increasing pedestrian and bicycling deaths can be attributed to being hit by an SUV. So what is being done about this? … Do you think SUV drivers have any clue of the risks they pose to pedestrians?
Lance Lewis, Ralph Durham, Lou Shultz and others
A: No, but that may change. New York is considering a five-star safety rating system that would rank vehicles on the dangers they pose to pedestrians and cyclists and post it on the vehicle, perhaps at the point of sale, though details need to be worked out. The rating would be the first of its kind in the U.S. and could spread across the country.
Pedestrian crash deaths have been on the rise in recent years and now account for nearly a fifth of all U.S. traffic fatalities. SUV ownership has also been on the rise. SUVs now account for 29% of the passenger vehicle fleet, up from 21% in 2009.
SUVs are more likely to run over pedestrians than thrust them over the hood. Tall trucks and SUVs can have significant front blind zones that obscure the road, contributing to the risk of deadly collisions.
Q: As the owner of a 2000 Honda Civic, I was interested in learning that it leads the list of most frequently stolen vehicles in San Jose. Do you know why this older model car is so popular with thieves?
Terri Lehan, San Jose
A: Older cars are more likely to be parked on the street, making them more attractive to thieves.
Q: Gary, luv ya, but you missed the opportunity to address my pet peeve regarding improper use of disabled parking placards. The intent is to make it easier for the mobility-impaired to access stores by shortening the distance to the entrance or providing additional space to load or unload mobility devices.
The placard is not intended to provide close parking if the disabled person stays in the car. Too often I see cars park in a disabled spot and watch the able-bodied driver or caregiver run into the store while the disabled person remains inside the car. If the person registered to the placard is not getting out of the car, the placard should not be used to occupy a disabled parking space. Let’s educate the Bay Area on proper use of the placard.
Susan Lillie, Occupational Therapist
A: The driver may need to get back to their disabled rider quickly.
Join Gary Richards for an hourlong chat noon Wednesday at www.mercurynews.com/live-chats. Look for Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow, or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 408-920-5335.
Go to Source
Author: Gary Richards