Last month the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released their annual report on fatal car accidents across the country. While there is some good news, other fatal crash data is concerning. The good news is that last year, the United States saw the first decrease in car accident fatalities since 2013.
However, more sobering is the fact that the number of bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities is at a 20-year high. Sport utility vehicles (SUVs), while quickly becoming America’s favorite vehicle of choice, are also becoming more fatal to pedestrians. The number of people fatally injured while driving or traveling in SUVs increased by three percent last year.
SUVs and Fatal Accidents
Since 2010, sales of SUVs and crossover vehicles have more than doubled. Last year alone, SUV sales rose five percent and crossover sales increased seven percent. It is not only more dangerous to ride in an SUV or crossover, but it is also more dangerous to face one in an accident. The number of pedestrians fatally injured in collisions involving SUVs has risen a staggering 81 percent over the past 10 years.
The danger of the SUV lies in its design. The taller body on SUVs and crossovers increases the risk of a pedestrian becoming trapped underneath or rolling over top of the vehicle. Their larger body can lead to fatal blows to a pedestrian’s torso. SUVs and crossovers are also designed with more horsepower than smaller vehicles. This added power increases the danger to pedestrians in crashes where speed is a factor.
Location and Fatal Accidents
One interesting shift noted in the NHTSA report is the increase in fatal car accidents in urban areas over rural communities. Analysts believe the change may simply be a result of more city residents choosing to drive rather than walk or utilize public transportation. Combine increased motor vehicle traffic with lack of access to crosswalks and other pedestrian-friendly features and the number of fatal accidents will likely continue to rise in cities nationwide.
In response to the latest NHTSA data on fatal crashes across the country, automakers are responding with a very futuristic solution, autonomous driving technology. Already available in many makes and models, driver assist systems like lane departure alerts, crash avoidance systems, and fully driverless cars may help to reduce fatal crashes. While we know that driver assist features, combined with human intervention, can help prevent accidents, only time will tell if technology is truly the best solution for reducing car crash fatalities.
Edwardsville Car Accident Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC Advocate for Injured Victims of Car Accidents
If you were injured in a car accident, your Edwardsville car accident lawyer will work tirelessly to recover compensation for your suffering, so you can focus on healing. To discuss your personal injury claim, contact The Cates Law Firm, LLC by calling 618-277-3644 or contact us online to get started. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we serve clients from the surrounding areas, including Edwardsville, Belleville, and St. Clair County.