February 17, 2022

Newer Vehicles Are Deadlier To Pedestrians

Newer Vehicles Are Deadlier To Pedestrians

A recent article on Oregon Live goes into the sad topic of rising dangers and death tolls for pedestrians. Simply put, vehicles are taller and heavier than those produced in past decades. Unfortunately, the taller heavier vehicles are causing more pedestrian deaths and injuries. Newer vehicles are deadlier to pedestrians.

As we have noted in other blog posts safety testing for vehicles is slowly changing. However, the tests focus on occupant safety. The frontal crash prevention rating of the IIHS is one of the few tests that even consider pedestrians. This is part of why road safety is going up for people in vehicles, but down for people outside of them. It is a very unfortunate trend.

Newer Vehicles Are Deadlier To Pedestrians

It is our job to know about car accidents, including how they impact pedestrians. Here at Johnson Law, we work with personal injury claims. Simply put, we fight insurance companies. We fight them on behalf of normal injured people. Moreover, our lawyers work on contingency. That is to say, if we can't get you a win, we don't get paid. The whole goal is to help clients more fully recover from a personal injury claim. Read on to learn more, or call now to claim a free consultation.

Which Car Kills The Most Pedestrians?

The deadliest car is a car driven by a negligent driver, regardless of the specific car type. That being said, SUVs and trucks have been shown to be deadlier to pedestrians than equivalent sedans. Americans are buying more SUVs and trucks than ever, and more pedestrian deaths are happening than ever.

The taller vehicles end up impacting pedestrians higher up than their shorter sedan counterparts. People intuitively know that a severe blow to the legs is more survivable than a severe blow to the head. A crushed leg is life-threatening, a crushed skull is life-ending. This is likely the reason why SUVs and trucks are deadlier to pedestrians. There are other considerations such as visibility to consider. It is a complicated issue.

Oregon Vehicle Size Laws

What even controls the height of these vehicles? Various state/city laws regulate bumper height. There are many different rules throughout the United States. However, a lot of these rules have exceptions. Trucks and SUVs often fall into these exceptions. So trucks and SUVs can, and do, have taller front-ends.

Oregon state law actually has no laws specifically limiting how tall a bumper needs to be. Also, there are no state restrictions directly on lifting a truck's suspension. However, there are indirect controls such as maximum vehicle height and minimum frame height. See ORS 818.080 for the legal requirements. This is interesting as our neighbor Washington does restrict bumper height. See WAC 204-10-022 for more information on their restrictions.

Truck, SUV, or WW2 Tank?

Other people have noticed the change in vehicle heights. In fact, an interesting article goes into how newer trucks are similar in size (but not weight) to WW2 tanks. They're actually bigger in some dimensions if you compare them to the light tanks.

Part of working with personal injury claims involves handling cases of catastrophic injury and wrongful death. This is where we have seen an increase in pedestrian cases. Call us if you or a loved one were injured through no fault of your own. We may be able to help. Get your questions answered during a free personal injury consultation.

IIHS Study Highlights

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a car testing non-profit backed by auto insurance companies. A 2018 report detailed the rise in pedestrian deaths. A more recent 2020 report suggests the rise in deaths is due to SUVs and Trucks. We are going to go more into these reports in other blog posts.

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