Death on Foot: America's Love of SUVs Is Killing Pedestrians

Traffic Safety Pulse - March 2019

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that,  according to 2015 fatality data, SUVs are deadlier for pedestrians than cars. A new  report, citing 12 independent studies of injury data, said pedestrians are two to three times “more likely to suffer a fatality when struck by an SUV or pickup than when struck by a passenger car.”

Federal safety regulators have known for years that SUVs, with their higher front-end profile, are at least twice as likely as cars to kill the walkers, joggers and children they hit, yet have done little to reduce deaths or publicize the danger.

“In the United States, passenger vehicles are shifting from a fleet populated primarily by cars to a fleet dominated by light trucks and vans,” according to researchers at Rowan University in New Jersey, referencing “light trucks,” which includes SUVs. “Because light trucks are heavier, stiffer and geometrically more blunt than passenger cars, they pose a dramatically different type of threat to pedestrians.”

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