Sports utility vehicles, otherwise known as SUVs, have enjoyed great popularity in America in recent years. The trend does not seem to be slowing down or dying out much as time goes on, either, with many drivers continuing to prefer them.
However, while SUVs offer unique benefits and advantages to the drivers behind the wheel, they also pose an increasing danger to pedestrians on the road.
The rising rate of pedestrian deaths
The GHSA predicted that pedestrian deaths might jump by 60 percent since 2009, based on data harvested between January and June of 2019. In the year before, pedestrian deaths on a whole rose by a whopping 53 percent. This is a massive rise from the 4,100 pedestrians who suffered from fatal injuries in 2009. Note that the vehicular deaths of other individuals also only increased by 2 percent in the same timeframe.
In the state in 2009, 46 pedestrians suffered from fatal accidents involving motor vehicles. This made up 13 percent of the total vehicular deaths. Between 2014 and 2018, on the other hand, pedestrian deaths due to motor vehicle accidents raised by anywhere from 20 to 22 percent.
How do SUVs tie to this?
The big question is: why is this increase happening? Experts speculate many different causes are to blame. However, the increasing size of vehicles is likely a big contributor. The ability of drivers to see pedestrians wanes as vehicles get taller. Pedestrians hit by taller vehicles also tend to take a harder hit targeted at the torso or head as opposed to the hips or knees, too. On top of that, these victims can often fall under the car instead of onto the hood, resulting in the driver running them over.