Pedestrians in Wisconsin and elsewhere are more likely to be struck and killed by late-model SUVs than they are by cars, according to a recent study. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) study was published in June.
New SUVs still risky for pedestrians
Due to advances in safety technology, U.S. traffic fatalities have significantly decreased over the past four decades, falling from over 50,000 deaths in 1980 to approximately 36,650 in 2018. Despite the overall decrease in car accident deaths, pedestrian fatalities have increased by 53% over the last 10 years. According to the authors of the IIHS study, America’s growing use of SUVs is to blame for the troubling trend.
IIHS researchers analyzed 79 pedestrian accidents from three Michigan cities and found that SUVs were more dangerous for pedestrians than cars in most crashes. For example, 30% of pedestrians hit by SUVs at speeds of 20 to 39 miles per hour died as a result of their injuries. In comparison, 23% of pedestrians hit by cars at those speeds suffered fatal injuries. In accidents above 40 miles per hour, 100% of the pedestrians who were struck by SUVs died. In comparison, 53% of pedestrians hit by cars traveling above 40 miles per hour died. There was little difference between SUVs and cars in accidents that were below 20 miles per hour with all pedestrians suffering minor injuries. Due to their findings, the authors of the study urged automakers to improve safety designs for SUVs.
Victims of pedestrian accidents often suffer catastrophic injuries that require lengthy and expensive hospital visits. In order to recover compensation for medical bills and other losses, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit against the person who caused the accident. A personal injury lawyer could fight for a victim’s rights and push for the maximum settlement amount possible.