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SUVs’ increased popularity poses clear risks for pedestrians

Older residents of Indianapolis and other cities and towns across the state likely never focused all that much when they were younger on potential risks to their safety every time they took a walk.

Now many of them likely do – and should, according to federal regulators. Today’s traffic environment poses stark challenges for all pedestrians across the country that simply did not exist in former years. We noted some of them in a recent blog post, noting in our May 18 entry that, “The obstacles to safety are many and great.”

One injury catalyst that is of growing concern for safety organizations is the SUV, which is immensely popular with the American public. Reportedly, SUVs and smaller passenger trucks now account for about 60% of all vehicle purchases across the U.S.

And that is not good news for the walking public, which faces outsized risks from SUVs.

Most prominent is this: They have higher front ends than cars, and are often more bluntly shaped in outline. That contour, notes a recent in-depth article on pedestrians’ stark vulnerability in SUV-linked collisions, makes it more likely for walkers hit by them to suffer catastrophic or deadly head injuries.

Studies that have emerged recently (and even years ago) underscore the heightened safety risks posed for walkers by SUVs, even indicating that they are the predominant cause for increased pedestrian fatalities nationally.

Regulators are strongly urging all automakers to install next-step technology assists such as automatic low-speed braking in their SUV offerings. The NHTSA is also recommending that new SUV rollouts come with pedestrian safety ratings.

Tabor Law Firm attorneys are intimately aware of the risks posed for walkers across the Indianapolis metro and elsewhere across the state. As we noted in our earlier post cited above, “Pedestrians are vulnerable and need to be protected through all rational and lawful means.”

We welcome contacts to the firm to discuss the proven advocacy we bring to bear on behalf of accident victims and families who turn to us for guidance and diligence representation.

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