Trucks And SUVs Are 2-3 Times More Likely To Kill Pedestrians In Crashes

America’s love affair with crossovers, pickups and SUVs is having devastating consequences and we’re not talking about their environmental impact.

According to an investigation by the Detroit Free Press and the USA Today Network, SUVs are two to three times more likely to kill pedestrians compared to cars. Government officials have reportedly known about this for years but have “done little to reduce deaths or publicize the danger.”

The number of pedestrian deaths in the United States has climbed 46 percent since 2009 and the report says SUVs are largely responsible for the increase. This is having deadly results as nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in America in 2016.

Unsurprisingly, most of the fatalities occur in major cities. Among cities with populations of at least 200,000 residents, Detroit ranked as the most deadly with a pedestrian fatality rate of 34.5 people per every 100,000 residents. Other major cities that ranked high on the list include Newark, Miami, Tampa, St. Louis and Phoenix.



SUVs aren’t entirely to blame as many of the pedestrians that were killed, were either jaywalking or had alcohol in their system which could have impaired their judgment. Smartphones have also exploded in popularity since 2009 and it’s likely that a number of drivers and pedestrians, involved in fatal accidents, were distracted by the high-tech devices.

While a number of factors go into fatal accidents, the connection to crossovers and SUVs is pretty clear. There is some debate over the exact number, but the Detroit Free Press says there was a 69 percent increase in single-vehicle pedestrian fatalities involving SUVs between 2009 and 2016.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration mentioned a connection in a 2015 report which said “About one-third of pedestrians who are injured are stuck by an SUV or pickup truck, which corresponds closely to the make-up of SUVs and pickups in the U.S. vehicle fleet. However, SUVs and pickups account for closer to 40 percent of pedestrian fatalities, which suggests that injuries may be more severe when sustained in collisions with these vehicles.”

The report went on to say an analysis of 12 different studies showed that pedestrians are 2-3 times more likely to be killed when struck by a pickup or SUV than when hit by a car. This pushed the agency to propose a new ratings system to include a vehicle score for pedestrian safety.

The rating was slated to go into effect for the 2019 model year but it hasn’t. The NHTSA declined to say what caused the delay but some automakers are reportedly opposed to the new rating.

The news isn’t all bad as a number of automakers offer advanced driver assistance systems which can help to prevent or lessen accidents with pedestrians. These include forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking systems.


  • Honda NSX-R

    Anytime someone says SUVs are safer, show them this.

    • Mr. EP9

      Or just show them one rolling over.

      • pcurve

        doing 5 mph around a round about.

        • Spyder Hole Fantome

          I’ve never seen nor heard of that happening… ever.

      • IFDU

        SUVs/Crossovers/Minivans/Pickups are still safer in roller overs than any other type of vehicle.

        • Un Tipo Serio


          • Jay

            The Volvo XC90 is.

          • Un Tipo Serio


        • Lucas Mattos Azevedo

          But all the other cars are better in not rolling over.

        • Mr. EP9

          True, but consider how much easier it is for them to rollover than small cars, it’s no surprise they are safer.

      • Spyder Hole Fantome

        As they enter their Smart car with that smug look on they face.

    • IFDU

      Safer for the people on the INSIDE of the SUV, not the outside.

      • Spyder Hole Fantome

        So you’re saying it’s a wash. Ok

    • Spyder Hole Fantome

      What is “This?

      • Honda NSX-R


  • Dude

    Obviously. Bigger + heavier isn’t good in pedestrian collisions. That’s why AEB is so important.

    • Spyder Hole Fantome

      People need to stop lawn bowling on public roads. This should be obvious.

  • Spyder Hole Fantome

    But SUV size makes them easier to see… so pedestrians are at fault.

  • kDawg

    1 + 1 also equals to 2

  • Bash

    Add that to being Autonomous.

  • Sébastien

    … And the sky is blue.

    • Beelzaboot teriaksun

      actually the Earth’s skies are violet, we just see them as blue


  • iea96

    Big news: cars now have 4 wheels

    • Loquacious Borborygmus

      5, actually.
      Or 6 if you have a spare.

      • iea96


        • Loquacious Borborygmus


  • Loquacious Borborygmus

    Who’s statistics are these?

    • ChrisInIL

      Click the link.

  • Loquacious Borborygmus

    The problem is actually that a lot of drivers have absolutely no idea of the characteristics of the vehicle they are driving and have limited chance of controlling their vehicle expertly when an incident arises.
    The general public never disappoint when it comes to stupidity.

  • dumblikeyou2

    Deathwish types down and out in life. Detroit, Newark, St. Louis. Drunkards and dumbass tourists Instagraming: Miami, Tampa, Phoenix
    “SUVs aren’t entirely to blame as many of the pedestrians that were killed, were either jaywalking or had alcohol in their system which could have impaired their judgment. Smartphones have also exploded in popularity since 2009 and it’s likely that a number of drivers and pedestrians, involved in fatal accidents, were distracted by the high-tech devices.”

  • robotlogic

    Well no duhhhh! Sometimes I wonder about people, maybe next they can do a hard hitting story on how older people tend to get hurt more after a fall or how humans prefer drinking water over gasoline.

  • Honda NSX-R


  • xiquitinx

    The SUVs are a plague. Unsafe, unefficient, expensive, limit the visibility to other drivers….. I think the goverments, must tu put a tax to this vehicles to make the consumers choose other better options.

Russia’s Rolls Royce-Rivaling Aurus Opens First Showroom In Moscow

The new Russian luxury brand also aims to open a showroom in China as soon as 2020.

Sterckenn Gives The BMW M5 And M2 Some Subtle Visual Tweaks

A number of carbon fiber add-ons, such as a front splitter and rear diffuser, make the two M cars a little more aggressive.

Skoda Kamiq Subcompact SUV Could Be The Segment’s New Champion

Despite being Skoda’s first entry into a very hot niche, the Kamiq establishes itself as a top runner.

Lotus Evija Is Off To An Outstanding Start, Gets Double-Digit Orders

Lotus has almost sold out the entire allocation of the Evija in the United States before the hypercar even hits the assembly line.

New-Gen Mercedes-Benz Citan Confirmed, Wil Get An Electric Version

The next Citan will continue to be made in partnership with Renault-Nissan but will, once again, get some mods to identify it as a Merc.

Toyota Updates Concept-i, e-Palette Autonomous EVs For 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Toyota will supply 3,700 vehicles, 90 percent of which will be electrified, for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Honda’s Innovative Airbag Promises Increased Front Passenger Safety

Thanks to its design, the new airbag offers better protection in the event of an angled frontal collision.

Supercharged Huracan Performante Demonstrates What She’ll Do In A Straight Line

This lightly modified Huracan Performante crossed the half-mile line at 168 mph which, in our books, is pretty fast.

Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition Arrives In Australia Priced At AUD $53,490

While the 370Z is starting to show its age, Nissan has made it a bit more appealing with this special edition.

Production-Spec Toyota Tj Cruiser To Debut In Japan In October?

A report from Japan claims the new crossover will be unveiled on home soil at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show.