It is getting more and more dangerous to be a pedestrian or bike rider on our streets. Pedestrian crash deaths have increased every year since 2009, with more than 6,500 pedestrians killed by motor vehicles in 2020.
A recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows SUV’s, pickups and minivans are substantially more likely to hit a pedestrian when making a turn than any other time or any other vehicle. The study looked at the most common types of single car crashes at intersections when pedestrians or bike riders were involved.
When the vehicle was making a left turn, the odds that a pedestrian was killed was:
- Twice as high when the vehicle was an SUV;
- Three times as high when the vehicle was a van
- And four times as high when the vehicle was a pickup truck.
The study identified the windshield frame, otherwise known as the “A” pillar, as being larger in SUVs, pickups and vans which makes it harder for drivers to see to their left when making a turn.
But even if you’re just walking, riding or running alongside a road, SUVs were 51% more likely to hit the pedestrian or biker than other cars. Pickup trucks were 25% more likely to hit the pedestrian or biker.
In order to reduce pedestrian accidents, police want pedestrians to use designated crosswalks at major intersections to cross the highway. Pedestrians and cyclists should wear reflective clothing when walking along the side of the road or crossing the highway so that motorists can see them in the evening and at night when visibility is poor.