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    a study by the insurance institute for highway safety found which of these vehicles is most likely to hit a pedestrian?

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    Safety Study: SUVs, Pickups More Likely to Hit, Kill Pedestrians When Turning

    A new study shows that trucks, vans, and SUVs are more likely to kill pedestrians than cars are when turning.

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    Safety Study: SUVs, Pickups More Likely to Hit, Kill Pedestrians When Turning

    BySean Tucker 03/17/2022 8:16am

    SUVs and pickup trucks are substantially more likely than cars to hit pedestrians when making a turn. They’re also substantially more likely to kill them.

    That’s the result of a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The institute says, “more research will be needed to understand the role of visibility in these crashes,” but the likely explanation is simple physics. Drivers are more likely to hit an obstacle they don’t know is there.

    About the IIHS

    The IIHS is what the name says it is – a research group funded by the insurance industry, focused on making cars safer. Insurance companies have a financial interest in reducing the number and severity of accidents. So, while government agencies fund some automotive safety research in the U.S., the insurance industry funds much of it. The IIHS is the insurance industry’s main car safety watchdog.

    The institute conducts crash tests, studies accidents, and issues awards to the safest vehicles. In recent years, it has focused heavily on improving headlights and finding solutions to the problem of distracted driving.

    About the Study

    Researchers studied thousands of police reports of single-vehicle, single-pedestrian accidents at or near intersections. They examined the types of vehicle involved and the severity of accidents.

    Researchers found that pedestrians were more often killed by turning vehicles than by vehicles traveling straight. Left turns were more dangerous than right turns. And the type of vehicle mattered a great deal. Pickups were the deadliest, followed by vans, minivans, and SUVs. Cars were least likely to kill.

    Even when traveling straight, bigger vehicles were more dangerous. “SUVs and pickups were associated with 51 percent and 25 percent greater odds than cars of killing a pedestrian walking or running along the road versus a fatal straight-on crash with a crossing pedestrian,” the IIHs explained.

    A Growing Problem

    Pedestrian crash deaths are on the rise. They hit a low in 2009 and have risen every year since. By 2020 (the last year for which data are available), traffic accidents killed 6,500 pedestrians — nearly 60% more than a decade before. Another 54,700 were injured.

    Also, a GROWING Problem

    “One suspected factor is the growing prevalence of larger vehicles,” the institute notes. A recent Consumer Reports study found that the hoods of full-size trucks and SUVs today are 24% taller than they were in 2000. That growth has left the average full-size truck or SUV with a “front blind spot” — an area where the driver can’t see what’s in front of the vehicle — on average 11 feet longer than the average sedan.

    Driver assists like automatic emergency braking can help avoid some accidents. But nothing is better at preventing an accident than a driver who is paying attention and can see the road.

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    As for why turns were more often fatal, the IIHS says that more study is needed. But researchers suggested that thicker A-pillars – the pillars beside the windshield — may limit drivers’ visibility in turns.

    A-pillars have grown thicker as vehicles have grown heavier, because they need to be stronger to prevent the car from crushing its occupants in a rollover accident.

    Sean Tucker

    Sean Tucker is an author specializing in covering the automotive and energy industries from a consumer's viewpoint. As a reviewer and consumer advocate, his work has appeared in U.S. News and World Report, Yahoo Autos, MSN, Dub Magazine, and more. He's been an expert guest discussing car shopping on cable news. He has also served as both reporter and lead editor for energy and insurance industry... Read More about Sean Tucker

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    Study Reveals These Are The Vehicles More Likely To Hit Pedestrians

    The research was released Thursday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

    Study Reveals These Are The Vehicles More Likely To Hit Pedestrians

    TOM KRISHER / AP

    Thu, March 17, 2022, 5:12 PM·4 min read

    In this June 8, 2016, file photo, a maroon and silver truck drove, left, drives through the marked crosswalk in front of pedestrian volunteers Dave Passiuk and Nelsie Yang in St. Paul, Minn. (Photo: (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP, File))

    DETROIT (AP) — Drivers of bigger vehicles such as pickup trucks and SUVs are more likely to hit pedestrians while making turns than drivers of cars, according to a new study.

    The research released Thursday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety points to the increasing popularity of larger vehicles as a possible factor in rising pedestrian deaths on U.S. roads. The authors also questioned whether wider pillars holding up roofs of the larger vehicles make it harder for drivers to spot people walking near the corners of vehicles.

    “The link between these vehicle types and certain common pedestrian crashes points to another way that the increase in SUVs on the roads might be changing the crash picture,” said Jessica Cicchino, a study author and vice president of research for the institute.

    Although the study mentioned previous research showing blind spots caused by the “A-pillars” between the windshield and the cabin, the authors said more study is needed to link the blind spots to the increased deaths.

    In 2020, the last year for which complete statistics are available, 6,519 pedestrians were killed in the U.S., according to government data. That’s up 59% since 2009, and a 4% increase from 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.

    Over the same time period, SUV and pickup truck sales have skyrocketed. In 2009, pickup trucks, SUVs and vans accounted for 47% of all U.S. new vehicle sales, according to Motorintelligence.com. Last year, light trucks were more than three-quarters of new vehicle sales.

    Not all SUVs and pickup trucks have the blind spots, though. Compact SUVs, for instance, are now the largest part of the U.S. market.

    The study also found that the larger vehicles were more likely than cars to be involved in crashes where pedestrians were standing, walking or running near the edge of the road and away from intersections.

    Researchers studied federal crash statistics in which pedestrians were killed, as well as all pedestrian crashes reported to police in North Carolina from 2010 through 2018.

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    Study Reveals These Are The Vehicles More Likely To Hit Pedestrians

    The research was released Thursday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

    U.S. NEWS

    Study Reveals These Are The Vehicles More Likely To Hit Pedestrians

    The research was released Thursday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

    TOM KRISHER

    Mar. 17, 2022, 10:12 AM EDT

    In this June 8, 2016, file photo, a maroon and silver truck drove, left, drives through the marked crosswalk in front of pedestrian volunteers Dave Passiuk and Nelsie Yang in St. Paul, Minn. (GLEN STUBBE/STAR TRIBUNE VIA AP, FILE)

    DETROIT (AP) — Drivers of bigger vehicles such as pickup trucks and SUVs are more likely to hit pedestrians while making turns than drivers of cars, according to a new study.

    The research released Thursday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety points to the increasing popularity of larger vehicles as a possible factor in rising pedestrian deaths on U.S. roads. The authors also questioned whether wider pillars holding up roofs of the larger vehicles make it harder for drivers to spot people walking near the corners of vehicles.

    “The link between these vehicle types and certain common pedestrian crashes points to another way that the increase in SUVs on the roads might be changing the crash picture,” said Jessica Cicchino, a study author and vice president of research for the institute.

    Although the study mentioned previous research showing blind spots caused by the “A-pillars” between the windshield and the cabin, the authors said more study is needed to link the blind spots to the increased deaths.

    In 2020, the last year for which complete statistics are available, 6,519 pedestrians were killed in the U.S., according to government data. That’s up 59% since 2009, and a 4% increase from 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.

    Over the same time period, SUV and pickup truck sales have skyrocketed. In 2009, pickup trucks, SUVs and vans accounted for 47% of all U.S. new vehicle sales, according to Motorintelligence.com. Last year, light trucks were more than three-quarters of new vehicle sales.

    Not all SUVs and pickup trucks have the blind spots, though. Compact SUVs, for instance, are now the largest part of the U.S. market.

    The study also found that the larger vehicles were more likely than cars to be involved in crashes where pedestrians were standing, walking or running near the edge of the road and away from intersections.

    Researchers studied federal crash statistics in which pedestrians were killed, as well as all pedestrian crashes reported to police in North Carolina from 2010 through 2018.

    The North Carolina statistics showed that pickups were 42% more likely than cars to hit pedestrians while making left turns. SUVs were 23% more likely to hit people than cars. There was no significant difference in the odds of a right turn crash for the different types of vehicles, the study showed.

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    Outside of intersections, pickups were 80% more likely than cars to hit a pedestrian along the road. SUVs were 61% more likely, and minivans were 45% more likely to hit people than cars, IIHS said.

    Trucks, SUVs and vans typically have thicker “A-Pillars” than cars because of federal roof-strength standards to prevent collapse in rollover crashes, the IIHS said. The pillars typically are wider because they have to withstand the higher weights of the bigger vehicles.

    And the pillars aren’t the only things creating blind spots in the bigger vehicles. Consumer Reports found last year that high hoods also obstructed driver views of pedestrians crossing in front of the vehicles.

    “To see over that high hood, you’re going to be looking further down the road,” said Jennifer Stockburger, director of operations at Consumer Reports’ auto test center.

    The magazine and website found that pickup truck hood heights have risen 11% since 2000. The hood of a 2017 Ford F-250 heavy-duty pickup was 55 inches off the ground, as tall as the roofs of some cars, Stockburger said.

    Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, which sell the bulk of the large SUVs and pickups in the U.S., all declined comment on the study. Messages were left seeking comment from Auto Innovators, an industry trade group.

    Automakers could use stronger metals to make the A-Pillars smaller and increase visibility, said Wen Hu, an IIHS senior transportation engineer and another study author. “These larger vehicles, they need stronger pillars, we all understand that,” she said. “Increasing the size of the A-Pillar is not the only way to increase the strength.”

    IIHS, which is funded by auto insurance companies, studies vehicle safety.

    Stockburger said the industry could also examine sight lines on the bigger vehicles, as well as add automatic emergency braking systems that detect pedestrians.

    Most automakers have promised to make automatic emergency braking standard equipment on nearly all of their new models by September of this year. In addition, federal safety regulators are proposing to make the systems mandatory on all new vehicles.

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