Sport utility vehicles have long been a popular choice among car buyers, including some who say they like the sense of protection that they feel comes with driving a larger vehicle. A recent study, however, shows that SUVs are particularly dangerous when it comes to crashes involving pedestrians.
SUVs are more likely than other cars to cause fatalities in accidents with pedestrians, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Late-model SUVs are particularly lethal, the group said, because of design elements that make them more likely to throw pedestrians forward in the event of an accident.
“Our findings provide more evidence that manufacturers need to make design changes to help combat the increase in pedestrian fatalities now that more of the vehicles on the road are SUVs,” IIHS senior research engineer Becky Mueller said in a statement announcing the study’s findings.
Mueller and her team of researchers reviewed approximately 80 crashes across Michigan. Those collisions involved vehicles traveling at various speeds.
Roughly 30 percent of the accidents involving SUVs traveling between 20 and 39 miles per hour caused fatalities, up from 23 percent for car collisions with pedestrians in the same speed range. All three of the SUV accidents at more than 40 miles per hour resulted in a pedestrian fatality, as opposed to 54 percent for car collisions in the same speed range.
That comes as the overall number of people killed in car crashes each year is on the decline, but pedestrian fatalities are rising. Meanwhile, more car buyers are opting for SUVs, according to IIHS
“The proportion of SUVs in the U.S. fleet has grown dramatically, so it’s discouraging that they still seem to be more deadly to pedestrians than cars are,” IIHS Statistician Sam Monfort said.”
The researchers noted that various design changes in recent years have made SUVs more car-like and likely less lethal to pedestrians. That includes lowering bumpers on the vehicles.
Legal Rights for People Injured in Car Crashes
Anyone who is injured in a car accident has the right to seek compensation from those responsible for the collision. That is true regardless of whether the injured person is a pedestrian, passenger or driver.
The money damages typically available in Colorado car accident cases include compensation for current and future medical bills, missed wages during physical recuperation and any property damage. Additional damages may also be available for pain, suffering and emotional distress, in some situations.
To get that compensation, the injured person has to be able to prove that the person or entity responsible for the collision is legally liable. In Colorado, an experienced Denver personal injury lawyer can help you identify those responsible and build the strongest possible case.
Speak with a Denver Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Colorado, it is vital that you seek the counsel of a seasoned Denver personal injury lawyer.
At Levine Law, our personal injury attorneys combine decades of experience helping people injured in car and other accidents get the money they deserve. We are committed to guiding clients through the legal process with experience and personalized attention.
We are pleased to serve clients throughout Colorado, including in Denver, Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins and Loveland. Call us at 303-333-8000 or contact us online to speak with a Denver personal injury lawyer.