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Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyers > Blog > Pedestrian Accidents > SUVs and Other High-Profile Vehicles More Likely to Cause Fatal Pedestrian Accidents

SUVs and Other High-Profile Vehicles More Likely to Cause Fatal Pedestrian Accidents


Collisions between vehicles and pedestrians often result in serious injuries, regardless of the size of the vehicle in question. A recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), however, has shown that pedestrians are most likely to suffer catastrophic and fatal injuries in car crashes with higher front ends, like SUVs and pickup trucks.

The Connection Between Fatality Risk and Vehicle Size 

According to the IIHS, pedestrian accident deaths have risen 80 percent since 2009. Although speeding and an aging infrastructure are thought to have partially contributed to this alarming trend, safety advocates argue that the true danger lies in the growing portion of U.S. vehicles that are made up of SUVs and trucks. For instance, over the last three decades, the average passenger vehicle has gotten ten inches longer, four inches wider, eight inches taller, and almost 1,000 pounds heavier. These kinds of vehicles (i.e. SUVs, pickup trucks, and vans) that have hood heights greater than 40 inches are as much as 45 percent more likely to cause fatal pedestrian accidents than other passenger vehicles with hood heights of 30 inches or less.

Which Vehicles are Most Dangerous to Pedestrians? 

The report published by the IIHS reveals that certain high-profile vehicles, namely those with hoods that are more than 40 inches off the ground and with grilles that slope at an angle of 65 degrees or less have a much higher likelihood of causing a fatal pedestrian accident than smaller passenger cars. Vehicles with even higher hood heights (exceeding 40 inches), but with blunt front ends angled at more than 65 degrees, have proven to be almost as dangerous. Unfortunately, with the number of SUVs and pickup trucks on the roads, there is a high probability that any pedestrians involved in a collision will suffer a catastrophic injury.

Vehicle Design Impacts Pedestrian Safety 

According to safety experts, vehicle manufacturers could make high-profile vehicles a lot less dangerous to pedestrians by:

  • Lowering the front ends of the hoods; and
  • Angling the grilles and hoods to create a more sloped and less blunt profile.

Specialists argue that there is simply no functional benefit to vehicles having such large, blocky front ends and that by sloping front ends, manufacturers could significantly reduce the rate of fatal pedestrian accidents. Specifically, making these design changes would lower the chances of severe head, torso, and hip injuries. This is because tall, blunt vehicles are more likely to throw pedestrians forward into the roadway. Tall, albeit sloped vehicles, while still dangerous, pose less of a risk to pedestrians, who typically roll onto the hood of the vehicle first, before striking the ground.

Atlanta Pedestrian Accident Lawyers 

If you or a loved one were injured in a pedestrian crash, you could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and pain and suffering. Don’t hesitate to call 404-593-0020 and set up a meeting with one of the experienced Marietta pedestrian accident attorneys at Shiver Hamilton Campbell today.




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