Pedestrian deaths from SUVs are increasing in California and across the nation. Safety agencies have been investigating the causes of this trend. These are some of the top contributing factors.
Large size of SUVs
Most SUVs weigh more than cars with two or four doors. They also have taller front ends than cars. If an SUV strikes a pedestrian, both factors create more injury risks.
More SUVs on the road
In 2020, about 20% of fatal auto-pedestrian accidents involved SUVs. About 20% of new vehicles that are sold today are cars. The other 80% are larger SUVs or trucks. Although roadway traffic was lighter in 2020, vehicle accident death rates still increased.
Poorer side and rear visibility
Drivers may not realize that they have limited visibility in some SUVs. The A-pillars can create blind spots and make some accidents more common. For example, an SUV driver may not see a pedestrian while turning left. The poorer visibility may also increase the risk of backing into a child behind an SUV.
Reduced speed detection
In some newer SUVs, drivers may feel isolated from their actual speed. This factor may increase speeding risks, and people who speed are more likely to cause accidents. Additionally, high-speed accidents often cause worse injuries.
All SUV drivers must be aware of these factors and be conscientious about pedestrians while driving. Also, it helps to assume that pedestrians might be distracted. Although careful driving may not prevent all accidents, it can help SUV drivers reduce the risk of hitting a pedestrian.