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Pedestrian deaths rising alongside large vehicle sales

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2024 | Wrongful Death |

Pedestrian deaths have surged in recent years. The surge coincides with the uptick in sales of large vehicles like SUVs and trucks. This trend highlights the need for improved pedestrian safety measures as cities grapple with the consequences of a changing automotive landscape.

Sales of SUVs and trucks have soared in the past decade, spurred by consumer demand for larger, more versatile vehicles. These larger vehicles offer increased passenger space, towing capacity and perceived safety benefits. As a result, many consumers choose them over traditional sedans.

Impacts on pedestrian safety

The rise in large vehicle sales has correlated with a troubling increase in pedestrian fatalities. The sheer size and weight of SUVs and trucks pose a greater risk to pedestrians in the event of a collision than smaller vehicles. The higher front-end profile of these vehicles can also result in more severe injuries or fatalities for pedestrians.

Challenges for urban environments

Urban areas face unique challenges as they accommodate the growing presence of large vehicles. Narrow streets, crowded intersections and limited pedestrian infrastructure exacerbate risks. The prevalence of distracted driving and speeding in urban settings further heightens the likelihood of pedestrian accidents involving large vehicles.

Preventative efforts

To address the rising pedestrian deaths associated with large vehicle sales, comprehensive measures are necessary. This includes implementing traffic calming measures, such as lower speed limits to reduce the severity of pedestrian collisions. Cities should also prioritize investments in pedestrian-friendly infrastructure. This might include well-marked crosswalks, pedestrian islands and improved lighting.

According to The Verge, vehicles with hood heights of 40 inches or higher are 45% more likely to kill pedestrians than vehicles with lower hood heights. As the prevalence of large cars continues to grow, so does the urgency to address pedestrian safety concerns.