Long trucks and SUVs are 45% more deadly to pedestrians in the United States, a study shows

Long trucks and SUVs are 45% more deadly to pedestrians in the United States, a study shows

Nov 14 (Reuters) – Trucks and sport utility vehicles with hood heights higher than 40 inches are about 45% more likely to cause fatalities in pedestrian crashes than shorter vehicles with hoods, a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety showed.

Previous studies have shown that SUVs and pickup trucks are associated with a higher risk of death in pedestrian accidents. But the new study focused on the risks posed by vehicles with hoods longer than 40 inches using data from about 18,000 crashes.

Long, square hoods are a distinctive feature of some of the best-selling and most profitable vehicles sold in the United States such as the Ford Super Duty Pickup, Cadillac Escalade, and other large SUVs.

The rise in pedestrian deaths has outpaced the increase in total traffic deaths in the United States since pandemic lockdowns were eased.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the number of pedestrians killed in 2021 jumped 13% to 7,342, the highest level since 1981, while the number of people killed on bicycles rose 5% to 985, the highest level since. 1975 at least.

Since reaching its lowest point in 2009, pedestrian fatalities have increased by 80% and represent 17% of all traffic fatalities.

The Insurance Institute, an arm of the US insurance industry, has no regulatory authority. But its studies are influential in industry and with regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The IIHS study found that tall, blunt vehicles, such as a large pickup truck, are 43.6% more likely to cause death in a collision with a pedestrian. Vehicles with long, sloping hoods are 45% more likely to kill a pedestrian, while medium-height vehicles with blunt front fascias, like the Mazda CX-9 SUV or Chevrolet Colorado pickup, are about 26% more likely to kill a pedestrian. . Pedestrians, based on the institute’s analysis of accident data.

“Automakers can make vehicles more pedestrian-friendly by designing vehicles’ front ends that are lower and steeper. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration could consider ratings that take into account increased hood heights and steeper front ends for fleet vehicles in an evaluation program new cars or regulation,” the IIHS study said.

Fuel efficiency standards for U.S. vehicles administered by the NHTSA have encouraged automakers to build larger vehicles. The larger the car, the lower the fuel efficiency target it must achieve.

US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg described the rise in traffic deaths as a “crisis.” This year, the Biden administration allocated $800 million to improve infrastructure with the aim of improving vehicle and pedestrian safety.

David Shepardson reports. Edited by David Gregorio

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Joe White is a global auto correspondent for Reuters, based in Detroit. Joe covers a wide range of automotive and transportation industry topics, and also writes The Auto File, a thrice-weekly newsletter about the global auto industry. Joe joined Reuters in January 2015 as transport editor leading coverage of planes, trains and cars, later becoming global motors editor. Previously, he served as global auto editor for The Wall Street Journal, where he oversaw auto industry coverage and managed the Detroit bureau. Joe co-authored (with Paul Ingrassia) of The Comeback: The Fall and Rise of the American Automobile Industry, and he and Paul shared the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished reporting in 1993.

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