Like it or not, they have to choose.
If you keep car speeds under 30 mph, pedestrians don’t die. Above that, dead people. Realistically, to do that, you would have to set speed limits at 20 mph. Most cities won’t do that, and even if they would, depending on the locality, they can be overruled by the state departments of transportation. Based on my own experience in Boston (consider this ‘artisanal data’), when bike lanes were installed on Commonwealth Avenue in Back Bay, drivers complained about having to drive slower due to narrower lanes. And now, they do drive at lower speeds. Which is much safer for the residents of the neighborhood.
So there’s a fundamental conflict between people on foot and those in cars. And we should also realize that setting speed limits in crowded urban areas is essentially deciding how many struck pedestrians will survive collisions–or die. Yet, when traffic patterns are discussed at public hearings (I’ve attend these sorts of meetings–yes, I need new hobbies), pedestrian fatalities are rarely discussed and never so bluntly.
Maybe it’s because we call these ‘accidents’, when, these, in reality, are predictable outcomes*.
*With some variability and stochasticity.