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SUVs vs. Pedestrians: A Dangerous Combination

By Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie on March 16, 2021

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Car manufacturers focus primarily on maximizing safety for vehicle occupants; only recently have companies focused on pedestrian safety. Rear-view cameras and automatic brakes are just two of the innovative ways that auto manufacturers are improving the roads for pedestrians.

However, these devices are not yet commonplace, and pedestrian accidents occur every day in Orange County. Any collision between a car and a pedestrian can have severe consequences for the pedestrian, and research has shown that the type of vehicle can also play a huge factor.

How Dangerous Are SUVs to Pedestrians?

No one doubts that an SUV can cause a lot of damage in a collision. These vehicles are heavy, strong, and fast. Their frames are reinforced to protect occupants during collisions, but those safety features do not extend to anyone outside the vehicle. Obviously, the larger a vehicle is, the more severe a pedestrian’s injuries will be in a collision, but research by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) shows that the issue is more serious than most people think.

The IIHS found that 30% of SUV-pedestrian collisions at 20-39 mph ended in fatalities and those at over 40 mph almost always ended in pedestrians’ deaths. This is a drastic jump over pedestrian fatality rates for other cars, which are around 23% and 53% respectively. The IIHS has also noted that while car accident fatalities have decreased over the years due to new designs, pedestrian deaths have steadily risen over the years.

Reducing pedestrian accidents is not as simple as changing vehicle designs. While new technology has certainly improved public safety, pedestrian safety largely comes down to the actions of drivers. Distracted driving, intoxication, speeding, and other reckless behaviors all put pedestrians at serious risk of dying in a collision. These behaviors can impact any driver, whether in a sports car or SUV, but drivers of larger vehicles should be aware of how dangerous their vehicles can be.

How Safe Are SUVs?

When it comes to vehicle occupants, SUVs tend to perform better than regular cars in crash tests, especially head-on collisions. Their frames can absorb more damage, allowing passengers to walk away from crashes with fewer injuries. However, they are not without their dangers.

Given their size and weight, SUVs are top-heavy, meaning they are likely to roll over in a crash. Rollovers are often deadly for vehicle occupants, as the roof may collapse on top of them. Those who survive are at risk of suffering traumatic brain injuries and more. At the end of the day, like any other vehicle, SUVs must be handled by experienced and focused drivers – otherwise, everyone on the road is in danger.

Compassionate Representation After a Collision

Our OC law firm wants to remind SUV drivers of the trauma that pedestrians can suffer, in the hopes they will handle their vehicles with more care. We’ve seen what can happen otherwise.

Of course, if you were already hit by an SUV, you don’t need us to tell you that. No matter what vehicle struck you, you are likely looking at a difficult recovery time. Car accidents can lead to lifelong injuries, including paralysis, brain damage, and chronic pain. Covering the costs of these injuries and adjusting to your life can take thousands to millions of dollars. If you were hit by a negligent driver, your only option may be to file an auto accident claim.

Instead of dealing with the driver’s insurance company on your own, let the Orange County car accident attorneys at Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie handle the process for you. We have more than 45 years of experience and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. We work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning you do not have to pay us a dime unless we win your case. To schedule a free case evaluation with our team, call (949) 752-7474 today.

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