In recent years, the automotive landscape has shifted towards larger vehicles, particularly trucks and SUVs. These oversized vehicles, with their imposing presence and rugged aesthetics, have captured the hearts of many consumers.
However, as the roads become increasingly dominated by these vehicles, there is a growing concern about the safety implications for cyclists, pedestrians and occupants of smaller vehicles in the event of a crash.
Increased dangers for vulnerable road users
While the appeal of large trucks and SUVs is undeniable, their widespread presence on the road raises serious safety concerns. In the event of a collision, the physics favor these larger vehicles. As a result, large cars and trucks often cause more severe injuries to those in smaller cars, as well as cyclists and pedestrians. The elevated bumpers of SUVs can be particularly hazardous for pedestrians, increasing the risk of head and upper body injuries.
Challenges in sharing the road
The proliferation of large trucks and SUVs creates an intricate challenge when sharing the road with smaller vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. As these imposing vehicles struggle to maneuver in tight spaces, blind spots emerge, making it difficult for drivers to spot smaller road users. This raises the potential for accidents when drivers of large vehicles may not see cyclists and pedestrians.
According to Slate, SUVs are between two and three times more likely to kill a pedestrian than a standard passenger car. Cyclist deaths have also grown alongside SUV and large truck sales. This suggests that policymakers and motorists must do more to mitigate the risks large vehicles pose and help ensure the safety of all road users.