All Maryland residents should feel safe while out walking. However, more pedestrians than ever are dying in collisions with large vehicles.
More people are choosing larger vehicles
Although smaller, compact cars were once the go-to set of wheels, more drivers have opted for large vehicles in recent years. Pickup trucks, minivans and especially SUVs have grown in popularity to the point where more people than ever are buying them instead of smaller sedans. Many believe that larger vehicles offer more protection to the occupants. While this might be true, the opposite is true for pedestrians.
Larger vehicles and the danger they pose to pedestrians
Compared to smaller cars, pickup trucks and SUVs are more than twice as likely to result in death when a pedestrian is struck by them. Pedestrian accidents have increased over the past two years as more people are going out for walks. They are less likely to be seen in certain situations to drivers in SUVs and pickups especially while walking on the vehicle’s side. Visibility is limited due to the design of the vehicle, which can lead to a pedestrian being struck when the driver doesn’t even realize they are there.
Large vehicles pose such deadly risks to pedestrians because of their front ends being much higher than the front of smaller vehicles. An SUV or pickup strikes a pedestrian much higher on their body, making it more likely for the victim to suffer catastrophic injuries affecting the spine, chest or head. Manufacturers have also made these larger vehicles larger and heavier year after year.
Any vehicle traveling faster is also more likely to kill a pedestrian. If a driver of a pickup or SUV doesn’t see a pedestrian close to their vehicle, they might strike them at a speed such as 40 miles per hour, which is known to be more likely to result in death.
Pedestrians can’t always avoid accidents, but remaining alert at all times might reduce their risk of being struck.