Walking is an excellent alternative to driving in Maryland as it lets you get to a destination while getting exercise. Unfortunately, being a pedestrian carries the risk of accidents. Certain types of vehicles are more likely to get into pedestrian accidents.
Larger passenger vehicles pose greater risks
Pedestrians are significantly more likely to be struck by larger passenger vehicles. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) revealed that SUVs, pickup trucks, vans, and minivans pose a greater risk for pedestrian accidents. These large vehicles also cause more severe injuries due to their greater size, height, and weight.
What did the study show?
The IIHS checked information on 14,000 pedestrian accidents that resulted in deaths. It uncovered that people were more likely to be killed when an SUV, pickup truck, or other large vehicle made a left-hand turn. Pickup trucks, in particular, were four times as likely to kill pedestrians when striking them during a turn compared with smaller vehicles.
An engineer involved in the IIHS study stated that more research was needed to see why the fatal crashes occurred. However, he said the vehicle’s design is a significant factor, as the driver has many blind spots. Current large vehicles sports designs that are different than those from the past with A-pillars, making the sides and roof much thicker in the event of a crash.
The study also showed that pedestrian accidents resulting in deaths have increased by 59% since 2009. The number of larger vehicles in these accidents is higher than that of smaller cars. The IIHS also discovered that automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems are not as accurate when a vehicle makes a turn. Advocates are calling for changes in the design of large vehicles and AEB to ensure that pedestrians can be safer.
Pedestrians appear to be more at risk of being hit by larger vehicles due to the reduced visibility they afford.