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Walking while black: drivers less likely to stop for black pedestrians

Chicago's first pedestrian scramble, or
Chicago's first pedestrian scramble, or "Barnes Dance", at the downtown intersection of Jackson Blvd. and State St. Pedestrians are allowed to cross all directions, including diagonally, every three light cycles. All vehicular turns have been prohibited to improve traffic flow.
Kevin Zolkiewicz/Flickr

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It's well known that African-Americans have a tougher time on the road. They are less likely to get a cab, for example, and more likely to be pulled over.

Add "more difficulties crossing the street" to that list.

A new study shows that at crosswalks, drivers are less likely to stop for African-American men.

Those pedestrians spent 32 percent more time waiting for cars to slow down compared to white pedestrians.

The research was conducted by professors Kimberly Kahn at Portland State University and Arlie Adkins at the University of Arizona.

For the study, they went to downtown Portland during the day with six men. Each was around the same age with similar heights, builds, outfits, pace and posture.

But half were black and the other half were white.

They were instructed to walk across a marked crosswalk that's mid-block – that's where there are no signals to stop traffic, but drivers are required by law to stop for pedestrians crossing the street.

The first cars to reach the crosswalk were slightly more likely to stop for the white men. However, if the first car didn't stop, that's where a big racial discrepancy happened.

As they were on the curb, the black men were twice as likely to wait for multiple cars to pass by before one would stop.

The results were so dramatic that it took the researchers by surprise.

Social psychology professor Kimberly Kahn joins Take Two to explain more about her study.