A study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicates that the design of SUVs makes it harder for drivers to see if there are pedestrians on the road. This is true whether they’re on a crosswalk or the sidewalk. This is something for every New Jersey driver and pedestrian to be aware of.
It’s harder to see a pedestrian while driving an SUV
According to the study, SUVs are involved in more accidents with pedestrians in intersections than cars, whether the vehicle is turning left, right or going straight. The numbers show that the larger the vehicle is, the more likely it is to be in an accident with a pedestrian.
Several factors may play into the increased danger that SUVs present to those crossing or walking along the road. One possibility is that how the A-pillars are shaped or located on the vehicle may impair the driver’s visibility.
It also comes down to their sheer size. The A-pillars are necessary to support the SUV’s roof and are located on both sides of the windshield, but they can get in the way and obscure the driver’s view. The wider the A-pillars, the larger the blind spot a driver cannot see a pedestrian through.
Large vehicles must be designed to handle their added weight, which accounts for the bigger A-pillars, but there has yet to be a systematic assessment of the design of these struts. Pedestrian safety may also be impacted by other elements of an SUV’s design, including its long front end and high ride height.
A better design could save lives
Some experts have said that a key aspect of pedestrian safety is improving the design for these larger vehicles. Many have found it helpful to think of pedestrian accidents in terms of the vehicle type that was involved.
SUVs make the roads more dangerous for pedestrians because it’s harder for drivers to see them. This is caused in part by the way these larger vehicles are constructed. Take extra caution in an SUV to ensure the road is free from other vehicles and pedestrians before moving.