SUVs Cause More Injuries Than Cars Do When They Hit Pedestrians
You may have thought that whenever any car of any size collides with a pedestrian, that it is equally damaging; that is, it doesn’t matter what size the car is—a car is a car, and it will always do the same amount of damage to a pedestrian.
Big Cars Mean More Damages
But that actually isn’t true. As it turns out (and this may sound obvious), the bigger the car, the more damage that it does to pedestrians, and there are now studies that prove this fact. It should be concerning, considering the rising popularity of larger cars, trucks and SUVs. And in fact, studies show that SUVs are actually more likely to hit pedestrians, than normal cars are.
Pickup trucks are actually the most likely and common type of vehicle to result in pedestrian deaths, with SUVs close behind. However, the fatality rate of both types of vehicles is disproportionately high, as compared to the overall amount of accidents that they are involved with or in.
Why More Dangerous?
Yes, the size and weight of the vehicle contributes to the severity of the injuries when they hit people. But researchers wanted to learn more. It turns out, there are some things inherent in the design of larger cars that make them more dangerous.
The first is the height of these vehicles. These cause problems, for two distinctive reasons.
The first is that the height of the car makes it hard to see pedestrians, even when they are directly in front of the vehicle. There is even a name for this phenomenon—a frontal blind spot, and most SUVs and trucks have it. The shorter the pedestrian, the more likely he or she is in the blind spot, making minors at particular risk.
When drivers can’t see pedestrians because of blind spots, it also makes it more likely that the car hits the pedestrian without slowing down first; the driver can’t immediately slam on the brakes and slow the vehicle, if they never see the pedestrian to begin with.
The second reason why vehicle height causes more severe accidents is just because of physics. Although any collision with a vehicle can and will cause injury, with lower or normal sized cars.
At a moderate or low impact, the body at least has the chance to go up onto the hood when the collision happens.While devastating, this is better than the alternative that often happens when larger, taller cars collide with pedestrians: The body ends up going under the vehicle, because the hood is too high for the pedestrian to be thrown onto.
Changes Making Little Difference
There have been efforts to make design changes to make SUVs safer when they are in accidents. But most of those changes relate to car accidents, and have no impact on the injury or fatality rate, when a pedestrian is involved.
Pedestrian accidents are on the rise. If you have been hit by a car, contact our Rhode Island personal injury lawyers at Robert E. Craven & Associates at 401-453-2700 today for help with your injury case.