SUVs, other large vehicles often hit pedestrians while turning

Traffic Safety Pulse News

SUVs_Peds(IIHS) SUVs, pickups, vans and minivans are substantially more likely than cars to hit pedestrians when making turns, suggesting that these larger vehicles may not afford drivers as clear a view of people crossing the road, a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows.

Pedestrian crash deaths have increased nearly every year since hitting a low point in 2009, rising 59 percent to top 6,500 fatalities in 2020, the latest year for which data are available. The same year, another 54,700 pedestrians were injured in motor vehicle crashes. One suspected factor is the growing prevalence of larger vehicles.

Where vehicle type is concerned, earlier research has shown that SUVs and pickups — which are more widespread than ever in the U.S. fleet — are more lethal to pedestrians than cars. The new IIHS paper shows that certain types of pedestrian crashes — including those that occur while the vehicle is turning — are more likely to occur with SUVs, pickups, vans and minivans.

The researchers studied the most common types of single-vehicle, single-pedestrian crashes at or near intersections and at other locations. They then examined how involvement in these crashes varied for three larger vehicle types compared with cars.

Read more from the full study here.