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SUVs, Other Larger Vehicles More Likely to Hit Pedestrians

Despite efforts to the contrary, larger vehicles including SUV’s continue to be in strong demand by drivers.  Pedestrians may be in danger from all vehicles on the road, but may be at an especially higher risk of being struck by larger vehicles like SUVs and minivans compared to passenger cars.

That information comes from a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The organization studied the risk to pedestrians from a number of different types of vehicles, and found that larger vehicles have a higher rate of being involved in pedestrian collisions, compared to smaller cars.  Not only are larger trucks more prone to hitting pedestrians, but these accidents are also much more likely to result in severe injuries.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety looked at accidents involving single vehicles at several locations, including intersections. The study found that the rate of fatal injuries in an accident by a left -turning vehicle was much higher in the case of SUVs with a rate that was twice as high compared to head-on accidents. The risk was also three times higher for vans and minivans.  This risk of hitting a pedestrian while making a left turn was the highest in the case of pickup trucks with a rate that was 4 times higher.

Transportation engineers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety believe that the A-pillar roof design of these vehicles blocks visibility for motorists, especially when they are making a turn, making them more prone to hitting pedestrians at intersections and other locations.  Earlier studies have shown that pedestrians are much more likely to suffer serious or fatal injuries when they are involved in an accident with a large vehicle like an SUV, compared to when they are hit by a smaller car. This new study shows that these vehicles are also much more likely to be involved in accidents with pedestrians while turning, compared to smaller cars

The risk was also quite high at other locations beside intersections. The overall risk was approximately 56% higher in the case of SUVs and 25% higher in the case of pickup trucks.

Pedestrian accident fatality deaths dropped to their lowest in 2009.  However, from then on, these numbers have seen a steadily upward trend, and in 2020, the number of pedestrians killed in accidents was a staggering 59% higher than in 2009. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety researchers believe that it is time for us to consider whether having larger vehicles on the road has contributed in some way to that increasing pedestrian death rate.  There is no doubt that there has been a spike in the number of large vehicles on our roads over the past couple of decades. That isn’t good news for people who choose to walk to get around.

The Atlanta car accident attorneys at the Katz Law Firm are dedicated to the representation of persons injured in auto accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia.  If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a car accident, talk to an attorney at our firm and discuss if you have legal rights to a claim for damages.

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