NBC News reports that, according to a new report released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the number of pedestrians killed in pedestrian/car accidents involving SUVs increased by 81 percent in the last decade.
A number of factors may be contributing to the increase in pedestrian/car accidents, including higher speed limits and distracted driving, according to safety experts. But the IIHS report suggests the increase may result from the growing number of SUVs on the road, suggesting that their design could make them more deadly in a vehicle-pedestrian crash than regular cars.
SUVs have higher front ends than a typical passenger car, which makes for a more blunt impact and less likelihood that a pedestrian being struck by an SUV might be able to roll off the vehicle and reduce injuries.
All told, pedestrian fatalities have climbed to nearly 6,000 a year, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a roughly 50 percent increase since 2009.
With the increase in smartphone use, the NHTSA blamed distracted driving for roughly one in 10 of all highway deaths. Smartphone use is also linked to the rise in pedestrian fatalities, in particular, because both drivers and those on foot may lose sight of what’s happening when they’re lost in e-mail or texting.
But while the ubiquitousness of smartphones may be leading to a rise in pedestrian/car accident related deaths, technology is also being used by auto manufacturers to counter this trend. A growing number of vehicles are now equipped with forward collision warning systems that can predict a potential crash and alert the driver to apply the brakes. More advanced versions also can hit the brakes automatically if the driver doesn’t immediately respond.
One thing is certain: as technology continues to advance, we are certain to experience growing pains, with some technology increasing risks to our safety and other technology making us safer.
Nothing is more devastating to a family than losing a loved one. If you have recently lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligence, you should contact an attorney immediately to ensure your rights are protected.
Jonathan King PLLC, Accident & Injury Law, can represent your family in a wrongful death lawsuit. While a wrongful death suit won't cure your family's loss, it can help with the financial consequences of losing a loved one. We are equiped to handle a wrongful death suit anywhere in Montana.
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