In recent years, pedestrian fatalities in auto accidents have increased. Part of this is due to a change in the type of vehicles people in Indiana and across the US are driving. Larger vehicles like SUVs are becoming more popular. It turns out, they pose a greater risk to pedestrians.
Looking at the numbers
Pedestrian fatalities in car accidents have gone up by over 50 percent for the period between 2009 and 2018. That means the roads are becoming more dangerous for some of the most vulnerable people who use them. Even at low speeds topping out at 30mph, people are 5% more likely to be killed when struck by an SUV.
When hit by SUVs at higher speeds, over 40mph, 100% of pedestrians were killed. That’s almost 50% higher than the rate of fatalities when cars are traveling at those speeds. Pedestrian and bike accidents involving SUVs are changing the way experts view safety on the roads.
The design of SUVs, with elevated front ends, is one cause of the discrepancy. In Europe, new safety features are being introduced in SUVs to try and mitigate the high number of fatalities they can cause. One example is the pedestrian airbag. These have not made it across the pond yet. Experts also say that since the SUV is less common in Europe, statistical comparisons are difficult to make.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident with an SUV, it’s important to seek legal advice. It may be possible to pursue the manufacturers of these vehicles and force them to adopt more safety features. An experienced lawyer may be able to help you understand what your options are.