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Statistics show that larger vehicles are more likely to harm pedestrians

May 1, 2022  Sponsored by by dNOVO Group

Photo credit: tonkid / Shutterstock

According to the Ontario road safety annual report (ORSAR), drivers in larger vehicles such as trucks, vans and SUVs are more likely to harm pedestrians in an accident. While smaller passenger vehicles are involved in accidents, they have a lower risk of causing serious injury or death to a pedestrian, as confirmed by many car accident lawyers. On the other hand, the increased size and weight of trucks and SUVs make them much more dangerous.

In 2020, 23,689 fatal and personal injury collisions were reported in Ontario, with 535 persons killed, 116 of whom were pedestrians. A similar pattern has also been identified in the U.S. by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), with large vehicles two to four times more likely to kill a pedestrian than a passenger car.

The top five best-selling vehicles in Canada are either full-sized pickup trucks or SUVs. In 2021 alone, nearly 300,000 units of pickup trucks were sold. U.S. sales trends show that SUVs and full-sized trucks topped the bestseller list, with over two million units sold in 2021. This goes to show that large vehicles are in higher concentration in both Canada and the U.S., illustrating why pedestrian injuries are prevalent.

Research conducted by the IIHS also notes that crashes are more likely to happen when a large vehicle is turning, and the risk only increases the larger a vehicle gets:

SUVs: Twice the crash risk than cars

Minivans: Thrice as high in terms of crash risk

Pickup trucks: Four times as high compared to cars

There are several reasons for this increased risk. First, larger vehicles have higher ground clearance than smaller ones, meaning they are more likely to strike pedestrians in the head or upper body, resulting in a higher probability of serious injury or death.

Second, trucks and SUVs have a larger front end, making it more difficult for drivers to see pedestrians in their path. Third, the increased weight of these vehicles means that they take longer to stop even after the application of breaks, so they are more likely to hit a pedestrian even if the driver is paying attention.

Visibility is also a huge factor in these types of crashes. This is because it is more difficult for drivers to see pedestrians at night, especially if they are not wearing reflective clothing. A vehicle’s A-pillars (pillars supporting the window) can also create blind spots, especially in larger vehicles. Large vehicles require bigger A-pillars to protect against rollovers, and they are more likely to obscure a pedestrian in the driver’s line of sight.

For these reasons, it is important to be extra cautious when driving or walking around large vehicles. If you drive a large vehicle, always yield the right of way to pedestrians. If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident with a large vehicle, it is advisable to seek out the services of a car accident lawyer who specializes in personal injury law. Grillo Law has experienced car accident lawyers who can help you navigate the complex legal process and ensure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries.

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