Rutgers Report: How Does Crash Reporting Influence The Reader?

Neglecting to name a driver of a vehicle, or to describe an incident with details of negligence on the part of the victim perpetuates car culture, and the increasing numbers  of traffic injuries and deaths of the most vulnerable road users.

Language and Perception matters.  What are crash report articles really saying?

“Inclusion or exclusion of an agent affects perception of
blame. Sentences with agents make the actions of the
perpetrator clear and reduce victim blaming.”

EDITORIAL PATTERNS IN BICYCLIST AND PEDESTRIAN CRASH REPORTING

Kelcie Ralph | Rutgers
Evan Iacobucci | Rutgers
Calvin Thigpen | Lime
Tara Goddard | Texas A&M

“Around one fifth of the 37,000 annual traffic deaths in the United States are
bicyclists or pedestrians. Despite this figure, there is little public outcry about
these vulnerable road user (VRU) deaths. Media coverage has been shown to shape public perceptions in other fields, primarily by signaling which topics merit attention (agenda-setting) and by infuencing how those issues are
interpreted (framing). This study examines how local news outlets report car crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists.”

Read the report:

Editorial Patterns in Bicyclist and Pedestrian Crash Reporting

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