Over the years, more and more people have incorporated walking, jogging or running into their daily routines as the emphasis on a healthy lifestyle continues to increase. Unfortunately, it seems that the very things meant to be good for people’s health might actually be putting them in harm’s way. Across the United States, more pedestrians were killed by vehicles in 2018 than in any year since 1990.
Statistics from the Governors Highway Safety Association indicate that the increase in pedestrian deaths has especially spiked since 2008, increasing a whopping 41% between then and 2018. The ongoing preference by American consumers for sport utility vehicles and other large vehicles instead of smaller sedans might be one factor contributing to this deadly trend.
When hit by a standard passenger car, a pedestrian generally experiences impact in their legs or hips. When hit by a taller vehicle, such as an SUV, a pedestrian experiences the impact in their torso or even their head, resulting in more severe repercussions. Distraction among drivers due to smartphones and other in-vehicle technology adds to the risk for pedestrians.
The Verge reported on how features included in many new vehicles designed to improve safety simply do not work in too many situations. AAA conducted studies that found vehicles equipped with automatic braking features and pedestrian detection systems failed to miss hitting pedestrian dummies in six out of 10 instances. These studies were conducted during the daylight hours and at very low speeds of travel. These safety features were noted to be even less effective or accurate in nighttime driving conditions.