As a pedestrian on the roads in Connecticut, safety is always a priority. Obeying posted signs and stoplights and sticking to designated intersections are the basics of doing your part to stay safe while walking. But there’s only so much in your control.
SUVs (as well as other large motor vehicles like trucks) pose a more significant hazard to pedestrians than cars. They’re involved in a greater number of auto-pedestrian accidents on a percentage basis, and those accidents also happen to be more severe on average.
Why SUVs are involved in more pedestrian accidents
First of all, it’s important to understand why you should be more cautious about crossing a road in the presence of an SUV. The main factor making SUVs more prone to striking pedestrians is visibility.
SUVs are larger, heavier vehicles, and as a consequence, they’re constructed in a more sturdy manner. But that comes at a cost – The A-pillars (the struts connecting body to roof on each side) in an SUV are bulkier and wider. This creates larger blind spots on either side of the SUV. And these are the areas from which a driver checks for pedestrians before making a turn.
Why SUV accidents tend to be more dangerous for pedestrians
The second factor increasing the danger to pedestrians from SUVs is the fact that SUV-pedestrian collisions tend to cause greater injuries and death than similar accidents involving cars. And in this case, the culprit is mass.
SUVs are significantly heavier than cars. And drivers drive them at similar speeds to cars. Force equals mass times acceleration. If you keep the acceleration the same and increase the mass, the force goes up. Accidents involving greater force produce greater injuries.
SUVs pose a heightened danger to pedestrians for two reasons: First, large side view blind spots make SUV drivers less likely to notice a pedestrian. Second, the larger mass of an SUV leads to a greater risk of serious injury.