The increasing popularity of large trucks and SUVs among consumers is a significant trend in the automotive industry. However, while these vehicles offer numerous benefits, they also pose increased dangers to pedestrians and cyclists.
While larger vehicles are more likely to severely injure someone traveling on foot or by bike, they are also more likely to cause cyclist and pedestrian fatalities.
Size and weight disparities
Rising sales of large trucks and SUVs are a concern for pedestrians and cyclists due to the substantial size and weight difference between these vehicles and traditional cars. Large trucks and SUVs are heavier and have higher front-end designs, making them more lethal in the event of a collision. When pedestrians or cyclists are struck by these vehicles, they are more likely to suffer severe injuries or fatalities.
The elevated seating position in large trucks and SUVs often results in limited visibility for drivers. This reduced sightline can make it challenging for them to spot pedestrians and cyclists, especially in intersections and crosswalks.
Increased stopping distances
Large trucks and SUVs generally have longer stopping distances due to their weight and size. When a driver of a large vehicle encounters an unexpected situation involving pedestrians or cyclists, he or she may struggle to bring the vehicle to a complete stop in time.
Drivers of large trucks and SUVs may also become less cautious and attentive while operating these vehicles, often feeling a sense of invincibility due to their size and weight. This reduced awareness can lead to negligence towards pedestrians and cyclists and lead to a higher likelihood of accidents.
According to Slate, four of every five new cars sold in the United States is now a large truck or SUV. Drivers of large trucks and SUVs must exercise heightened caution and pedestrians and cyclists must remain vigilant to help mitigate the risks these large vehicles pose to public safety.