Large vehicles like pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) have grown in popularity across the United States in recent years. Unfortunately, while these vehicles can provide a number of benefits to the drivers that choose them, they can also increase the risk of serious injuries for pedestrians in a collision.

When the size of vehicles increase, so does risk for pedestrians.

Larger vehicles are heavier and often sit higher off the ground than other cars. These differences can be significant in a collision with a pedestrian.

A 2020 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that SUVs, trucks, vans and other large vehicles put pedestrians at greater risk in a collision. Compared to accidents involving cars, accidents involving large vehicles were 2 to 3 times more likely to be fatal for a pedestrian. Earlier studies also indicated that SUVs are also much more likely to injure a pedestrian’s hip or thighs and to throw them forward in a collision.

How often do large vehicles hit pedestrians?

Unfortunately, along with this increased risk of serious or fatal injuries, a recent study of collisions in North Carolina also indicates that large vehicles are more likely to collide with pedestrians. When turning left at an intersection, pickups are more than 40 percent more likely to strike a pedestrian and SUVs are more than 20 percent more likely compared to cars.

Those increases are even more pronounced in collisions that occur along roadways. Compared to cars, pickups, SUVs and minivans are all more likely to strike a pedestrian outside an intersection, with pickup trucks as much as 80 percent more likely to collide with a pedestrian.

The injuries that pedestrians face in these collisions can be severe and often catastrophic. Injured people and their loved ones may want to explore their legal options in the aftermath of an accident to ensure that they have the financial and medical support that they need.