Automotive trends come and go, but right now, residents of California and the rest of the United State are demonstrating a clear preference for larger vehicles, including trucks and SUVs. This is bad news for those who travel on foot, because the bigger a vehicle is, the bigger the risks it poses if it strikes a pedestrian.
According to J.D. Power, SUVs have skyrocketed in recent years when it comes to popularity. Back in 2019, just over a fifth of all vehicles on American roadways were SUVs. Yet, not 10 years later, 70% of all vehicles sold in the United States fell under the SUV umbrella.
Why SUVs are more dangerous for pedestrians
The front profile, or leading edge, of vehicles, has grown considerably taller through the years. Many newer, larger vehicles are also much heavier than traditional sedans. For these reasons, SUVs often cause catastrophic damage when they come in contact with pedestrians and may injure a pedestrian’s head, neck or internal organs.
How speed impacts SUV dangers
While a vehicle’s design affects how much of a danger it is to pedestrians, so, too, does the speed at which the vehicle is moving. When sedans and SUVs move at 19 mph, those hit by the SUVs are more prone to suffering serious injuries. When sedans and SUVs travel at 40 mph and hit pedestrians, 100% of pedestrians hit by SUVs die in the incidents. Only 54% of those struck by smaller cars lose their lives.
SUV sales show no obvious signs of slowing down, and this means these large, heavy vehicles are likely to continue to claim pedestrian lives.