IIHS Study Suggests SUVs More Dangerous to Pedestrians Than Cars

car stopping before pedestrians crossing | suvs more dangerous to pedestriansAccording to a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, despite a number of design changes made over the past 20 model years meant to increase their safety, SUVs appear to be more fatally dangerous to pedestrians than smaller vehicles and cars

The study looked at 79 vehicle versus pedestrian collisions that took place in three urban Michigan regions, and had a number of interesting findings. 

Of those 79 collisions, the ones that occurred when the vehicle was going less than 20 miles an hour resulted in fairly similar outcomes, regardless of whether the vehicle involved was an SUV or car. The pedestrians in both cases suffered relatively minor injuries. 

In those accidents that occurred at speeds between 20 and 39 mph, 30% of the ones involving an SUV striking a pedestrian resulted in the death of that pedestrian, compared to only 23% of the same speed impacts involving cars. 

In collisions that occurred at speeds of 40 mph and higher, 100% of the impacts coming from SUVs resulted in a pedestrian fatality, compared to only 54% for cars. 

This is a fairly small sample group coming from a single geographical area, so it remains to be seen if similar data will result from a larger study. But, the injury patterns studied in this group matched up with injury patterns seen in larger, national studies done previously. 

In many ways it just makes common sense that these larger vehicles would result in greater levels of injury and a larger number of pedestrian fatalities, than crashes involving smaller vehicles. 

Often these collisions involved the pedestrian being stuck by the front of the SUVs that were involved, including the grill, headlights and bumpers. The higher front profile and block-like design of these vehicles tends to cause greater injury higher up the body of the pedestrian. 

An IIHS study from 2018 found that the number of fatal pedestrian accidents involving a single SUV increased over the years 2009 to 2016, more than for any other type of vehicle, at 81%. 

It has been suggested that some fairly minor changes to the way that SUVs are designed, including more car-like elements like a sloping front profile, could help reduce the damage done to a pedestrian in these types of accidents. 

The data obtained in the Michigan study will be analyzed with other data by IIHS, in order to try and determine the SUV body design that poses the least risk to pedestrians. 

Contact Our Pueblo Pedestrian Accident Lawyers

Pueblo Personal Injury Attorney Mickey SmithIf you or someone you love suffered an injury in a pedestrian accident in Pueblo, our law firm is the first call you should make. Pueblo attorney Mickey W. Smith is a compassionate and staunch legal advocate for injured accident victims and their families. 

He can help you through this difficult time, and protect your rights to compensation every step of the way. Call us at (719) 544-0062, or fill out our confidential contact form for more information. We offer free initial consultations so we can review all of your legal options with you. 

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