Fatal motor vehicle accidents involving the death of pedestrians have increased in the last few years in California and other states. If you have been injured as a pedestrian or lost a loved one riding a bike or walking across the street, you may wonder why they’re occurring. Unfortunately, the focus has been on increasing driver and passenger safety, neglecting the need for pedestrian safety.
Examining the tie between large vehicles and pedestrian deaths
Sales of vans, pickup trucks and SUVs have increased dramatically in the last decade. One of the factors for this steep increase is the safety that a driver and passengers receive when riding in a larger vehicle. Technology has increased the size and security of SUVs, making them an excellent choice. Unfortunately, their larger size and design have contributed to an increase in fatal motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians. If a pedestrian is hit by one of these larger automobiles, head and vital organ injuries occur, lessening the odds of survival.
Design challenges and blind spots
When driving a pickup truck or SUV, the driver sits higher than a car. This position, and the design of these vehicles, can create blind spots, making it difficult to see pedestrians or bicyclists when turning left. Unfortunately, the need for more robust pillars to support the roof and avoid rollovers can create less outward visibility, increasing the chance that a pedestrian will get hit.
New technology may help
Technological advances in the auto industry may help compensate for blind spots by including an automatic emergency braking system that can detect pedestrians. However, safety experts would also like to see other options explored, such as changes to vehicle designs and speed limit enforcement.
With the increase in fatal motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians, industry experts must evaluate the situation and develop solutions. Otherwise, more pedestrians and bicyclists will get killed by SUVs, trucks and vans.