Why Are SUVs More Deadly For Pedestrians?
Being a pedestrian in the U.S. is more dangerous now than ever, with reports revealing that 2021 saw the most pedestrian deaths in almost 40 years. This trend has been attributed to a number of different factors, including the increasing presence of large vehicles, such as SUVs, on our nation’s roads.
SUVs are Taller and Heavier
SUVs often weigh two to three times more than the average sedan, which means that they can generate a lot more deadly force in the event of a collision. For this reason, the blunt force trauma suffered by pedestrians during a crash with an SUV can reach the level of catastrophic. Besides being heavier, SUVs are also geometrically more blunt and stiffer than passenger cars, which further increases the risk they pose to pedestrians. Injury patterns among pedestrians also reveal that SUVs are more likely to throw pedestrians forward, increasing the severity of impact when they strike the ground.
SUVs Have a Higher Profile
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), pedestrians are two to three times more likely to suffer a fatal injury when struck by an SUV than when they are struck by a standard passenger vehicle. This is due to the fact that SUVs have a higher front-end profile than sedans, meaning that when these kinds of vehicles strike pedestrians, they do so higher on the victim’s body, usually on the torso, rather than the legs. Unfortunately, this means that pedestrians who are struck by SUVs are more likely to suffer not only broken bones, but also internal injuries, spinal cord injuries, and head trauma, all of which can be deadly.
SUVs Have Bigger Blind Spots
Besides their size and higher profile, SUVs are also more dangerous for pedestrians due to their larger blind spots, which are worsened by the wider pillars that hold up the roofs of SUVs. Known as A-pillars, these columns are located between the windshield and the cabin and are wider than those used in standard passenger sized cars because they have to withstand heavier weights. These pillars make it harder for drivers to see and avoid collisions with pedestrians, especially when those pedestrians are walking near the corners of the vehicle. The higher hoods on SUVs also contribute to these blind spots, making it harder for drivers to see pedestrians who are crossing in front of their vehicles.
Serving Florida Accident Victims for More than 40 Years
The increasing rate of pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. has been attributed to a lot of different factors, including higher speed limits and outdated roadway design. However, the larger size of many of the passenger vehicles on the road has also played a role in this alarming trend, with SUVs in particular posing a very real risk of injury to other road users. If you or a loved one were hurt in a pedestrian accident through no fault of your own, you could be entitled to compensation for your losses. For an assessment of your legal options, please call the experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers at Boone & Davis today. You can set up a free consultation by reaching out to us at 954-566-9919 or by sending an online message.