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SUVs and the safety risk they pose to pedestrians

SUVs and the safety risk they pose to pedestrians

Roughly two-thirds of all new vehicles being sold in Louisiana and across the U.S. are “light trucks,” such as SUVs, minivans and pickups. A recent report from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association says that pedestrian deaths went up in 2019 and that the prevalence of light trucks may be partly to blame.

Why are light trucks considered dangerous?

These larger vehicles pose a higher safety risk in urban areas than do other passenger vehicles. Being seated further up from the ground, drivers have to contend with more blind spots and may find it hard to detect children. The vehicles sit up higher, which makes them more deadly to pedestrians and motorcyclists because they hit such people at the level of the head or torso rather than the legs.

What are some cities doing about this?

Certain cities have adopted what’s called a Vision Zero model for traffic safety improvement. It’s a model for reducing traffic fatalities to zero, and it encompasses many projects like the development of pedestrian islands and the reduction of lanes (“road diet”). However, with more SUVs on the road, this vision will only become harder to achieve.

Some people recommend that cities discourage people from buying SUVs by, for example, scaling parking fees by the vehicle’s size. Cities could provide more parking spaces for compact cars as well.

For innocent victims of SUV accidents

Pedestrians and others who are injured in motor vehicle accidents through little or no fault of their own may be able to seek compensation from the other driver’s auto insurance provider. The process can be complicated, however, so it may be in your best interests to have the assistance of an attorney from the start.

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