SUVs and Pedestrian FatalitiesJune 4, 2018
Each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) releases its annual traffic fatality statistics. According to a report released last October, 2016 was the worst year for pedestrian fatalities since 1990, with 5,987 pedestrians hit and killed by motor vehicles.
This rise in pedestrian deaths may be directly related to the number of SUVs and SUV-like crossover vehicles that have become so popular among consumers in recent years.
Other factors contributing to fatal car accidents with pedestrians include location, the type of road, and the time of day. However, SUVs are responsible for a staggering 81 percent increase in pedestrian deaths.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) suggests that the unique design of these vehicles may be contributing to the fatal wrecks. Because of the taller design, including a higher hood height compared to a sedan, there is a greater chance of chest or head injury if a pedestrian is hit by an SUV. These types of injuries are more likely to be fatal than other types of car accident injuries.
According to motor vehicle statistics, in 2009, there were 4,092 pedestrian fatalities, which was a lower rate of fatal traffic accidents involving pedestrians than any other year. From 2009 to 2016, the number of pedestrian deaths climbed to 5,987, an increase of 1,895. From an all-time low, the number of fatalities increased by 46.3 percent in just seven years.
What Makes SUVs More Dangerous to Pedestrians?
There are a number of factors that make SUVs and crossover vehicles appealing to consumers, including their roomy interior and the comfort of sitting higher, which some consumers say gives them a better command of the road. In addition, because SUVs tend to weigh more than the average sedan, automakers often fit these vehicles with more powerful engines.
However, the same features that make these vehicles popular among consumers are what make them more dangerous to pedestrians if they are involved in an accident. For example, the increased weight of an SUV means that it requires a longer stopping distance. In addition, the taller height is associated with a reduced perception of speed.
Many of these accidents can be avoided if drivers remain alert and focused at all times, refraining from talking or texting on the phone while driving. When driving in residential areas, school zones, city streets, or other areas where there are likely to be pedestrians crossing the street or walking on the shoulder; or if there is no sidewalk, they should use extra caution.
Further, pedestrians should also be aware of their surroundings and avoid being distracted by a text or a phone call.
Baltimore Car Wreck Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Car Accident Victims
If you or a loved one have been involved in a pedestrian accident involving an SUV or other type of motor vehicle, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore car wreck lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We understand how devastating this type of accident can be for the victim, and we will ensure that you receive the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. Our compassionate and dedicated team will protect your rights and continue to fight for you until justice is served. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.