Becker, Kellogg & Berry, P.C.

Available 24/7
Call us for a free consultation:


Personal Injury Attorneys With Years of Experience and Expertise Serving the Best

Photo of the legal professionals at Becker, Kellogg & Berry, P.C. --

Bigger cars mean bigger fatality risks for pedestrians, cyclists

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2023 | Injuries |

More and more consumers in Virginia and across the nation are choosing large trucks and SUVs over standard sedans. While larger, heavier vehicles offer more protection for those riding inside them, they do the opposite for everyone else.

According to Slate, American road fatalities reached a 16-year high in 2021, and, notably, large trucks and SUVs first began outselling standard passenger vehicles in 2002. Nowadays, four in five new cars sold nationwide are large trucks or SUVs.

Statistics about fatality rates for cyclists, pedestrians

Studies show that cyclist fatalities spiked quite a bit in recent years, climbing 44% between 2010 and 2020, a time when large vehicle sales also increased. Pedestrian deaths also hit a 40-year high in 2021, with studies revealing that SUVs, in particular, are between two and three times as likely to kill a pedestrian as a traditional sedan.

Why big cars impact fatality rates for cyclists, pedestrians

Because large trucks and SUVs are so much bigger and heavier than passenger vehicles, they exert a much stronger force on those they strike. Bigger vehicles also have higher front edges, meaning they frequently strike pedestrians and cyclists higher up on their bodies, where they may cause head or brain injuries or threaten a crash victim’s internal organs. Some larger vehicles also have larger blind spots, making it harder for drivers to see pedestrians or cyclists in their paths.

As the dangers associated with driving large vehicles become more widely known, some municipalities are considering charging motorists more to register large vehicles than small ones.