When a car strikes a pedestrian in Maryland, the extent of the pedestrian’s injuries depends to some degree on what the motorist was driving. Research shows that SUVs are more likely to cause serious injuries and fatalities when they strike pedestrians than traditional sedans. This is troubling given the growing popularity of these large, heavy vehicles.
J.D. Power reports that the number of pedestrian deaths seen across the nation increased 53% over the past 10 years, even though roadway fatalities, in general, have decreased over the past 40 years. Rising pedestrian deaths coincide with the rising popularity of SUVs, with these vehicles now accounting for 70% of all new car sales.
SUVs have higher front profiles than sedans. When they come in contact with a pedestrian, they are more likely to cause internal injuries or other substantial damage to the pedestrian than smaller cars, which may cause the most damage to the legs.
SUV-on-pedestrian crash statistics
A study revealed that the speed a car or SUV travels also impacts pedestrian injury and fatality rates. When an SUV is traveling at above 19 mph and strikes a pedestrian, there is a much higher chance of the pedestrian suffering a serious injury than there is when a sedan does the same. Similarly, when a sedan hits a pedestrian while moving at 40 mph, the pedestrian dies in 46% of cases. When an SUV hits a pedestrian while moving at 40 mph, 100% of pedestrians hit die.
Some automakers have taken steps to change their SUV designs and lower their force-absorbing features. However, these moves have yet to make a notable impact on injury or fatality rates.