Virginia pedestrians would be wise to exercise care any time they make their way somewhere on foot, but research shows they should be especially wary of walking near large SUVs. SUVs are larger and heavier than traditional cars, and they also have very different designs. Because they have different designs and more weight behind them, they are more likely to cause serious injuries and fatalities when they strike pedestrians than smaller cars are.
J.D. Power reports that SUV sales now make up a substantial portion of all vehicles sold across the United States. Also, vehicle-on-pedestrian crashes now account for more than a fifth of all car crashes seen across the nation.
SUV sales statistics
As of 2009, only about 20% of the vehicles on the nation’s roads were SUVs. Yet, within less than a decade, this percentage grew to more than 70%. This means trouble for pedestrians because SUVs have high front-end profiles. This means they are more likely to cause damage to a pedestrian’s upper body, rather than the legs, and they are also more likely to kill pedestrians upon striking them.
SUV fatality statistics
Research shows that SUVs traveling faster than 19 mph pose much more of an injury threat to foot traffic than cars traveling at the same speed. When cars and SUVs travel at 40 mph and hit people traveling on foot, pedestrians hit by cars survive in 46% of instances. However, pedestrians hit by SUVs traveling at 40 mph die in 100% of cases.
As Americans increasingly favor large SUVs over smaller sedans, the risks faced by pedestrians are likely to also increase.