Any time you are on the street, you would find it difficult not to see an SUV or sport utility vehicle on the road. While always popular, in recent times they have surged in popularity amongst drivers. In fact, AARP list SUV sales as above that of sedans. Alongside pickup trucks, SUVs account for 60 percent of vehicle sales in the United States.
With this rise in numbers, there is also a more unsettling number to pay attention to. That is the number associated with the amount of pedestrian deaths occurring due to SUV drivers. In 2016 alone, 6,000 people died after an SUV struck them. Why are SUVs more dangerous than other vehicles?
Is it size alone?
The sheer size of an SUV may seem like enough to be more dangerous. With SUVs having a 69 percent increase in pedestrian deaths, it is crucial to look at the underlying cause. As it stands an SUV is twice to three times as likely to kill a pedestrian, but it still does not count towards the SUV’s safety rating.
An SUV has a blunt front end, compared to a sedan’s front end. Likewise, it is higher set and hence will most likely strike a passenger in the head or chest. These impacts have more of a chance of ending in a fatality due to where the car strikes the person.
Could braking systems help?
It is possible that emergency braking systems and automatic crash avoidance may help decrease the amount of crashes. Automakers have even promised automatic braking systems by 2022.