American Study Finds SUVs More Of A Danger To Pedestrians

Tue 16th Jun 2020


In one of the most expected outcomes for a study in 2020, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has announced what many probably already knew, SUVs cause more damage than cars when colliding with pedestrians.

Focusing on car-pedestrian collisions in the three Michigan cities, the study compared the impact of a Lexus LX 470 to a more low-riding 2008 Honda Civic, finding that the SUV is far more likely to damage to internal organs.

The report said: “In the Michigan crashes, SUVs caused more serious injuries than cars when impacts occurred at greater than 19 miles per hour. At speeds of 20-39 mph, 3 out of 10 crashes with SUVs (30 percent) resulted in a pedestrian fatality, compared with 5 out of 22 for cars (23 percent). At 40 mph and higher, all three crashes with SUVs killed the pedestrian (100 percent), compared with 7 out of 13 crashes involving cars (54 percent). Below 20 miles per hour there was little difference between the outcomes, with pedestrians struck by either vehicle type tending to sustain minor injuries.”

The IIHS reported that shape was just as important as size and weight in determining the types of injuries suffered. The taller face of an SUV making it more likely that pedestrians will suffer thigh and hip damage.

Though traffic fatalities are on the decline in the US, the incidence of SUVs involved in fatal accidents is on the rise and the IIHS is expected to widen their research to gain a greater understanding of the impact of more SUVs being on the roads.

“Although pedestrian crashes most frequently involved cars, fatal single-vehicle crashes involving SUVs striking pedestrians increased 81 percent from 2009 to 2016, more than any other type of vehicle,” the IIHS stated.