New York pedestrians are seemingly more vulnerable to auto accidents than ever. With distracted driving, general recklessness, and drivers who are under the influence, it is imperative for pedestrians to be vigilant about their surroundings. With the likelihood of severe injuries and death occurring from a collision, researchers analyze auto-pedestrian accidents to try and find solutions. In recent years, one understated factor has been prominent in pedestrian deaths: sport utility vehicles.

Study shows fatalities more common in SUV-pedestrian accidents

SUVs have had certain design changes in the past 20 years. The goal was to increase overall safety and to reduce the risk pedestrians face. Still, according to the Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there is a higher chance of an SUV-pedestrian collision causing a fatality when compared to cars. In addition, more people are driving SUVs, causing a spike in these deaths.

Overall, pedestrian safety has been on a notable upswing. From 1980 to 2018, there was a decline in pedestrian fatalities by more than 50,000. Unfortunately, that trend is slowly heading in the wrong direction, and the numbers worryingly coincide with more people owning SUVs. Speed is a definite factor. At 20 to 39 miles per hour, 30% of the accidents end with a fatality. For cars, it is 23%. However, another problem is the way these vehicles are designed and how people are hit in a pedestrian crash. SUVs tend to “throw” pedestrians and cause greater damage than cars.

Pedestrians are vulnerable in SUV crashes

Automakers are aware of the dangers of SUVs and in the past four decades have made substantive design changes to this type of vehicle. The threat has been reduced from the time these vehicles became prominent. However, the sheer mechanics of SUVs increase the probability of catastrophic injuries and death in pedestrian accidents.

People who have been injured or lost a loved one will face personal challenges, financial uncertainty, and concerns about what the future holds. Regardless of a person’s situation, understanding how to proceed after a pedestrian crash is essential and the experienced guidance and advice of an attorney may be critically important.