Sports utility vehicles are popular choices for many families in Maryland, and it is easy to see why. These vehicles typically offer adequate seating, ample storage space and competitive gas mileage, all of which is perfect for a busy family on the go. However, there may be a darker side to SUVs — an increase in pedestrian accidents.
In 2009, the number of pedestrian fatalities — having been on a downward trend since 1975 — hit a record low. But that did not last long, and from 2009 to 2016, fatal accidents involving a single motor vehicle and pedestrians shot back up over 80 percent. So what is to blame for this frightening increase in deadly pedestrian accidents? Experts from the Governors Highway Safety Associate believe that SUVs are responsible for the sharp uptake in deaths.
Pedestrians are at a much higher risk for death if they are hit by an SUV rather than a smaller motor vehicle. Experts point to the vehicle’s design and its size as the reason for its deadliness. Typically much larger than other vehicles, they tend to strike pedestrians in the head or chest. They are also more likely to run over victims rather than knocking them to the side.
A 2015 study discovered that pedestrians in Maryland and across the rest of the United States are three times more likely to suffer fatal injuries from an SUV than by a passenger car. Although some cities in America are attempting to implement legislation to protect pedestrians, it is virtually impossible to prevent 100 percent of all pedestrian accidents. These devastating accidents have a profound impact on their victims and surviving family members, many of whom turn toward the actions of a wrongful death suit to achieve justice for their loved ones.
Source: thetruthaboutcars.com, “Deadly Design: SUV Proliferation a Contributing Factor in Pedestrian Deaths, Study Says“, Matt Posky, May 8, 2018