Drivers in SUVs more dangerous


Drivers in pick-up trucks or SUVs are more likely to kill pedestrians


While the market in vehicle sales sees an increase in SUV’s as a positive trend. It also lends a possible complication for road safety, more notably for pedestrians. This is according to statistics –which say pedestrians account for anything between 50 and 60% of fatalities.


While most buyers will no doubt pay little attention to a phenomenon overseas it is worth noting that – in the US – there is a direct correlation between fatalities and vehicle choice. A new report from the Governors’ Highway Safety Association [GHSA] looks at the major increases in the numbers of pedestrians being killed on the roads of the USA. It gives one of the reasons as the involvement of pick-up trucks and SUVs.


The high, solid fronts of pick-up trucks and SUVs cause devastating and often fatal injuries to pedestrians and cyclists. By comparison, cars — with their sloping hoods and increased engineering to be safer in collisions with vulnerable road users — are much less likely to kill.


One solution according to the GHSA is that if a pick-up or SUV is not essential then its wise and safer to buy a different type of vehicle. And don’t worry that doing this would reduce your own safety, either. Trucks and SUVs are by no means the safest vehicles on the roads. In any context — mini-vans and big sedans are typically safer for occupants.


Another consideration in a purchasing decision is that despite Electronic Stability Control [ESC or certain other abbreviations] being compulsory on cars purchased in the USA since 2012, even ESC cannot prevent all types of rollovers in SUVs or pick-up trucks. This is for the reason that they have a higher centre of gravity than sedans, station wagons and even minivans. Thus they remain more likely to roll over, and that is often deadly for the occupants.


For those fitting after-market lift kits, it is worth noting that rollover risk is particularly high in vehicles that are raised higher than the manufacturer intended. Then there is the fact that many lifted vehicles don’t have the brakes or speedometer linkage adjusted appropriately. Consequently, they can be more dangerous too.


If you own or you work for an organisation or corporation that provides pick-ups or SUVs for your staff use, then the extra danger created by this should be taken into account.


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