If you’re a pedestrian who walks in San Francisco, Los Angeles, or another California city, here’s something important you should know: You’re more likely to be hit by an SUV or truck than a car.
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) released a new report on pedestrian safety that shows concerning statistics about pedestrian collisions. Since 2009, pedestrian deaths are up 59% and there’s a strong correlation between pedestrian deaths and large-size vehicles.
Big Vehicles Are More Likely To Hurt Pedestrians
Compared to passenger cars, bigger vehicles are much more likely to hit, injure, and kill pedestrians. Consider these findings from the IIHS study:
- Pickup trucks are 80% more likely than cars to hit pedestrians.
- SUVs are 61% more likely than cars to hit pedestrians.
- Minivans are 45% more likely than cars to hit pedestrians.
- When making left turns, pickup trucks are 42% more likely and SUVs are 23% more likely than cars to hit pedestrians.
Why are large vehicles so much more dangerous to walkers? Auto safety researchers say it boils down to vehicle body design. Trucks, SUVs, and vans have thick structural corner braces known as A-pillars that provide necessary frame stability but also obstruct the driver’s view.
In a typical passenger vehicle, the A-pillars are much smaller than the A-pillars in a truck or SUV. Plus, a car’s smaller overall size means the driver sits much closer to the front bumper, the road, and any passing pedestrians. It’s simply easier to see people walking nearby.
By contrast, large vehicles have thick A-pillars with wide blind spots. These vehicles also have tall frames and large hoods, making it harder for drivers to see pedestrians crossing immediately in front of them. Depending on other factors like the weather and the time of day, someone walking near a big vehicle could be nearly invisible.
The auto industry is exploring new innovations to address these issues, like thinner and stronger A-pillars that improve sightlines. New vehicle features like built-in automatic pedestrian braking may become mandatory in the next few years. Until then, pedestrian injuries and deaths will likely continue to rise.
California Laws For Motorists and Pedestrians
When a motorist collides with a pedestrian, the pedestrian will be lucky to survive such a dangerous accident. The human body is no match for a moving truck.
California has strong laws to protect pedestrians’ rights and allow them to walk safely near our roadways. Although the laws can be a bit confusing for drivers and pedestrians alike, here are some key points to keep in mind:
- Pedestrians should cross within marked or unmarked crosswalks.
- Pedestrians in crosswalks automatically have the right of way, but pedestrians don’t automatically have the right of way in all situations.
- When a pedestrian isn’t using a crosswalk, they are prohibited from stepping into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
- Motorists shouldn’t harm jaywalking pedestrians and are responsible for exercising due care to avoid all pedestrians walking in crosswalks and roadways.
A motorist who drives an SUV, truck, van, or another large vehicle can’t use their vehicle’s large blind spots as an excuse for hurting someone. Motorists are expected to check blind spots carefully as they drive and can be held liable for blind spot accidents.
If you’re ever in a motorist vs. pedestrian accident, you’ll need the insight and expertise of an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer. You can turn to the team at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We offer compassionate legal representation based on our decades of experience with auto and pedestrian accident claims.
We Handle Your Pedestrian Accident Claim So You Can Focus On Your Life
When you need additional information about a pedestrian vs. vehicle accident, please contact the attorney team at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of personal injury law, including pedestrian accident claims. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering from your accident while we handle the legal details. Call 877-380-8852 today for a free case evaluation.