Drivers in Pick-up Trucks or SUVs are More Likely to Kill Pedestrians

There’s a new report out from the Governors’ Highway Safety Association [GHSA] regarding major increases in the numbers of pedestrians being killed on the roads of the USA, and one of the reasons given for this very regrettable situation is the involvement of pick-up trucks and SUVs.

The high, solid fronts of pick-up trucks and SUVs cause devastating and often fatal injuries to pedestrians and cyclists. By comparison, cars — with their sloping hoods and increased engineering to be safer in collisions with vulnerable road users — are much less likely to kill. (Copyright image, 2017.)

One solution, of course, is that if a pick-up or SUV is not essential then its wise and safer for you to buy a different type of vehicle. And don’t worry that doing this would reduce your own safety, either. Trucks and SUVs are by no means the safest vehicles on the roads, in any context — mini-vans and big sedans are typically safer for occupants.

Another consideration in a purchasing decision is that despite Electronic Stability Control [ESC or certain other abbreviations] having been made compulsory on cars purchased in the USA since 2012, even that ESC cannot prevent all types of rollovers in SUVs or pick-up trucks, for the reason that they have a higher center of gravity than sedans, station wagons and even minivans, so they remain more likely to roll over, and that is often deadly for the occupants.

A "jacked-up" pick-up truck - much more prone to the risk of a rollover crash because of the additional height, and despite the fact that it might have electronic stability control [ESC] fitted.
Pick-ups and SUVs that have been raised in height and put on larger-diameter wheels create problems with speedometer accuracy and braking efficiency, but worse than that, they become even more likely to roll over under adverse circumstances, and roll-overs are a particularly dangerous type of crash. Raised vehicles are also more likely to “over-run” smaller vehicles in a collision and such incidents are commonly lethal to everyone in the smaller vehicle. (Copyright image, 2017.)

Rollover risk is particularly high in vehicles that have been raised higher than the automaker intended (sometimes referred to as “jacked-up”). This causes the additional, highly-dangerous risk of over-running a smaller vehicle in a collision — meaning to go right over the top of it and very likely kill everyone in it. Then there is the fact that many heightened vehicles don’t have the brakes or speedometer linkage adjusted appropriately and so they can be more dangerous for those reasons, too.

If you own or you work for an organisation or corporation that provides pick-ups or SUVs for your staff to use, then the extra danger created by this should be taken into account. Not only is the risk of one of your drivers being involved in a devastating tragedy more significant but so is the subsequent risk to your bottom line and your business reputation.

We recommend that you take a thorough look at our ‘Courses‘ page or Contact Us right now with any questions you have about how we can help you protect your personnel, your community, your profits and your good name. At ADoNA, not only are we specialists for training drivers for maximum safety in SUVs and pick-ups, but if its relevant to you we are specialists for gravel road training, too.

You never know just what might be barrelling towards you on gravel roads, even the narrow, twisty ones, so this is just one of the challenges that drivers need to be able to meet every time. (Copyright image, 2007.)

There are more causes for the growing number of pedestrian deaths than the GHSA report mentions, so for details about another crucial factor, see
Far Too Many Pedestrian Deaths on the Roads of the USA, 2018.


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Author: EddieWren

Eddie Wren is the CEO and Chief Instructor at Advanced Drivers of North America. His driver safety background is given at:

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