Pedestrian fatalities due to SUVs rose 81% over the 10 years leading up to 2019. Those caused by cars also increased, at the considerably lower, but still alarming rate of 53%. According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the number of pedestrians killed by vehicles hit a 30 year high, with about 18 pedestrians killed by vehicles every day around the country.
SUVs are more lethal than smaller cars
SUV sales have increased hugely during the past few years. They are promoted as the ideal vehicle to keep you and your family safe. Unfortunately, that comes at a cost to pedestrians and cyclists.
SUVs do more damage when they hit someone. They weigh more, so impact has more force. They are also higher than other cars. The impact comes at a critical body height, where the vital organs are. Lower, smaller cars are more likely to impact someone in the legs.
Why are drivers killing more pedestrians?
There are several behaviors exhibited by drivers regardless of vehicle choice that makes being a pedestrian more dangerous than ever:
- Distracted driving: Mobile phone usage has shot up over the past decade. These devices and social media have evolved to occupy more of people’s attention. Despite advances in hands-free technology, there is still no safe way to use a phone while driving.
- Speeding: Modern cars accelerate more quickly than older ones. Road planners have also taken steps to increase the flow of traffic, allowing vehicles to travel faster.
- More vehicles on the road: Car ownership has increased. There are more potentially lethal moving objects out there that could harm you.
Cars and SUVs do not injure or kill people. They have drivers behind the wheel who do. It is vital to hold them responsible if they hit you or a family member.