According to a safety article published on consumerreports.org, truck and SUV design may be to blame for an increase in deadly pedestrian collisions. Moreover, taller vehicles with higher hoods mean these larger pickup trucks and SUVs have larger front blind spots. One Consumer Reports study discovered that some full-sized pickup trucks and SUVs had front blind spots that were eleven feet longer than blind spots of sedans. The larger blind spots, coupled with longer braking distances, compound the risk of fatal pedestrian collisions.
According to the IIHS, SUVs and pickups are increasing in popularity in America, and this could be the reason why pedestrian collision fatalities have risen by nearly 60% since 2009. Other traffic studies have already demonstrated that pedestrian collisions with large trucks and SUVs are “more lethal to pedestrians.” However, these new conclusions indicate that these large pickup trucks and SUVs are more likely to be involved in pedestrian collisions.
A recent IIHS study uncovered that today’s Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) systems with pedestrian detection might not detect or prevent a collision when the vehicle is turning. The IIHS study’s results are calling on auto manufacturers to fix these systems so that they can recognize moving pedestrians faster and more accurately.
According to William Wallace, Associate Director of Safety Policy at Consumer Reports, crash prevention systems, fixing roadway infrastructure, and improved hood designs will save lives.
The IIHS also agrees that states and cities need to improve intersection design to prevent turning collisions with pedestrians. These solutions may include rubber curbs and/or placing bollards at intersections in order to slow down vehicles. It is believed that slower speeds allow drivers more time to notice any crossing pedestrians while giving them additional time to stop. Decreasing the angle of a turn may also improve visibility through the turn, and this is a simple measure that cities can implement to improve intersection safety for pedestrians.
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