The link between SUVs and pedestrian fatalities
California residents likely appreciate the efforts being made locally and around the country to minimize, if not completely eliminate, pedestrian deaths. In spite of these efforts, the number of pedestrians killed on American streets is steadily rising. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, since 2009, there's been a 46 percent increase in the number of pedestrian deaths. This leads many to wonder why there has been such a dramatic spike.
Blame has been placed on everything from excessive use of cellphones while driving to the legalization of marijuana to the popularity of SUVs. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released a study showing that more than 80 percent of pedestrian deaths from 2009 to 2016 involved SUVs.
By 2014, SUVs were the number one killer of pedestrians in the United States. This makes sense because SUVs are larger than sedans, there are more SUVs on the road, and they are heavier vehicles that pose a greater risk to pedestrians.
SUV pedestrian-related accidents are more prevalent in cities. There are more fatalities among poor populations in the city, especially in areas where there are warmer climates. In part, this is because these are places where people are more likely to be on the street.
Many cities, such as New York City, are using reduced traffic speeds in areas where pedestrians are likely to be as well as redesigning problematic intersections as a way to reduce pedestrian fatalities. In 2017, New York had 101 pedestrian fatalities. This was the lowest number of pedestrian fatalities since 1910.
After a fatal accident involving a pedestrian, the surviving family members may work with a personal injury attorney to file a wrongful death suit. The personal injury attorney may work with their client to use the results of a completed accident investigation to build a civil case. They might use accident reconstruction professionals as well as the reports taken by law enforcement officials to strengthen their case.