Motor vehicles are not the only way Kentucky residents get around. Even though walking is a great form of exercise and way to enjoy the outdoors, pedestrians must travel among motor vehicles. Although sidewalks and cross walks are designated for pedestrians to get around safely, these are not always available. Pedestrians also travel on the side of the road, parking lots and in residential areas. This means that motorists must be attentive of these individuals walking, as a simple distraction or negligent act could lead to a serious or fatal pedestrian collision no matter the type of vehicle involved.
The roadways are filled with a wide array of vehicles; however, a growing trend is apparent among passenger vehicles. Sport-utility vehicles or SUVs are growing in popularity. Once heavy truck-based vehicles, these vehicles have evolved into crossover models that are lighter and more manageable. Because of their popularity, lower bumpers were adopted on these vehicles in order to reduce the harms suffered by passengers in other vehicles in the event of a collision. However, these vehicles remain a deadly threat to the pedestrians stuck by them.
Based on a current study, pedestrian deaths in traffic accidents have increased by 53% from 2009 to 2018. In other terms, pedestrian accidents account for roughly one-fifth of all traffic-related deaths in the U.S. When considering the severity of the injuries suffered, this study found that SUVs cause 7% more serious injuries to pedestrians than vehicles when colliding at a speed faster than 19 mph.
When the speed is increased to 20 to 39 mph, the fatality rate of pedestrians struck by SUVs was 30%. And for SUVs traveling at speeds of 40 mph or greater, the fatality rate for pedestrians was 100%. In comparison, the fatality rate was 54% for cars.
The study found that the signature front-end design of SUVs is the culprit for the higher fatality rate. Because they are taller and more squared off, they are more likely to cause serious or fatal injuries in a collision.
The aftermath of a pedestrian accident can be gruesome. Even when it is a slow moving collision, a motor vehicle can cause significant to the person struck, resulting in severe injuries or even death. Thus, it is important to be aware of the rights afforded to a victim. A personal injury action not only seeks to hold the driver at fault accountable, but it also assesses the damages suffered and aids in the recovery of compensation for these losses.