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More pedestrians, cyclists dying because of big vehicles

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2023 | Car Accidents

A growing number of people living in Pennsylvania and across the United States are choosing large trucks and SUVs when car shopping. While doing so might help protect their own families in the event of a crash, it raises risks for pedestrians, cyclists and anyone involved in the wreck who is not traveling in the large, heavy vehicle.

According to Slate, Americans first started buying large trucks and SUVs more than traditional sedans back in 2002, and sales of these oversize vehicles have only strengthened in the years since. Large trucks and SUVs are more hazardous to pedestrians and cyclists for several reasons. For starters, they wear more, so they tend to cause more bodily damage in crashes. Furthermore, the brunt of the force from a large vehicle typically strikes a pedestrian or cyclist higher up on their bodies than smaller cars, which often leads to more serious, life-threatening injuries.

How big cars affect pedestrian fatalities

The number of pedestrians dying on the nation’s roads continues to rise and hit a 40-year high in 2021. Some believe the growing popularity of large cars was a contributing factor, with one study showing that SUVs are between two and three times more likely to kill a pedestrian after striking one than a sedan.

How big cars affect cyclist fatalities

Larger, heavier vehicles also mean more threats for cyclists. Between 2010 and 2020, the number of bicyclists killed across the United States rose 44%.

In response to the growing number of cyclists and pedestrians dying after encounters with large vehicles and to help discourage consumers from buying them, some countries are taxing residents based on the weight of the cars they drive.