Supersized Vehicles in America: A Growing Threat to Pedestrian Safety

Walking through America’s busy streets is becoming more dangerous because of supersized vehicles. According to IIHS-HLDI, pedestrian deaths have increased significantly over the years, with a consistent rise from the 1970s through 2021. This highlights the growing danger to pedestrians in an evolving vehicular landscape​.

As a pedestrian who met an accident with supersized vehicles, you have certain rights. However, proving liability and getting compensation involves meticulous investigation, negotiation, and understanding of laws.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a supersized vehicle, do not hesitate to contact Nordean Law for a free case evaluation. Our Vehicle Accident Lawyers are here to support you every step of the way, ensuring your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve.

What are supersized vehicles?

Supersized vehicles typically refer to larger-than-average automobiles that are significantly bulkier and heavier than standard passenger cars. This category often includes Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs), pickup trucks, vans, and commercial trucks. In the United States, supersized vehicles often require special regulations or permits for use on public roads.

Rise of supersized vehicles

Larger vehicles are now more common, making up over 75% of new vehicle sales.

The trend of supersizing vehicles started in the 1980s in the U.S., with the average vehicle weight increasing from 3,200 pounds to 4,200 pounds. This change shows a clear trend towards bigger and heavier cars on the roads.

Americans increasingly opt for supersized vehicles, believing these larger vehicles provide enhanced safety, visibility, and utility. Many consumers believe larger vehicles offer better crash protection due to their size and weight. Additionally, the elevated seating gives the driver a more commanding view of the road, while the spacious design offers ample room for more family members and belongings.

The popularity of supersized vehicles is growing, largely because they align with urban living needs. Yet, it’s crucial to acknowledge that although these vehicles offer advantages to their occupants, they simultaneously heighten the dangers for pedestrians and other individuals outside the vehicle on the roads.

Supersized vehicles are causing more pedestrian accidents

The number of pedestrians killed by vehicles rose 53 percent from 2009 to 2018. Over the same period, the share of SUVs in the U.S. passenger vehicle fleet rose to 29% from 21% according to vehicle registration data from IHS Markit. This correlation highlights the pressing safety concerns associated with the dominance of larger vehicles on the road.

What makes supersized vehicles hazardous for pedestrians?

supersized vehicles lead to increasing pedestrian accidents

Supersized vehicles, such as SUVs and pickup trucks, are causing more pedestrian accidents due to several key factors:

  • Larger blind zones: Supersized vehicles have larger blind zones than smaller cars, making it harder for drivers to see pedestrians, especially when turning or reversing​​​​.
  • Higher front ends: Vehicles with higher and more vertical front ends are more likely to cause fatal pedestrian injuries. Their structure causes more impact on the chest or head level during the collision, increasing the severity of injuries​​​​.
  • Size and weight: The size and weight of supersized vehicles mean that the injuries are more severe when they collide with pedestrians. Studies have shown that SUVs and pickup trucks are two to three times more likely than smaller vehicles to kill pedestrians in the event of a crash​​​​.
  • Greater mass and momentum: The greater mass of SUVs and trucks carry more momentum into a collision. This makes it more difficult for the vehicle to stop quickly and increases the force of impact on pedestrians​.

How to determine fault in a pedestrian accident involving a supersized vehicle in California?

In California, the elements for determining fault in pedestrian accidents are the same as for all personal injury cases. Here are the key components:

Duty of care

In California, drivers are responsible for being careful and avoiding hurting anyone on the road, including people walking, biking, or in other cars. If the driver isn’t careful and someone gets hurt, that driver can be held responsible for the injuries.

Negligence factors

Factors such as speeding, driving under the influence, failure to obey traffic signals, and ignoring crosswalks are considered to establish negligence in a pedestrian accident.

Comparative negligence rule

California uses the comparative negligence rule, which allows for compensation even if the pedestrian is partly at fault. The compensation amount is adjusted based on the pedestrian’s percentage of fault. For instance, if a pedestrian was carelessly walking but the driver was also distracted, both parties must share liability​​.

Contact us if you had a pedestrian accident involving a supersized vehicle

Dealing with the aftermath of an accident can be overwhelming due to surging medical costs, psychological impacts, and legal hassles. By hiring Nordean Law, you can focus on recovery while professionals handle the legal and administrative burdens, working to secure lawful compensation for you. The attorneys handle paperwork, filings, and deadlines, reducing stress and saving time.

As we operate on a contingency basis, you don’t need to worry about upfront fees. You will pay us only after we win your case. And if you are unsure if you have a case, you can call us for a free consultation.

FAQs

When driving, you are responsible for allowing pedestrians to cross safely at marked crosswalks and intersections. While pedestrians should also be cautious, drivers must always be vigilant, even outside of crosswalks. This means drivers must always be on the lookout for pedestrians and do their best to prevent accidents, no matter where pedestrians are on the road.

Vehicle Code 21950 states that pedestrians should not walk into traffic from the sidewalk if it is dangerous. Until and unless there is an emergency, they should not purposefully slow down or stop cars while walking.
Vehicle Code 21954 explains that if you’re walking on or across a street without a crosswalk, you must be very careful to keep yourself safe.

Proving vehicle damages after an accident requires gathering robust evidence, calculating damage, negotiating with insurance companies, and sometimes even going to trial. Due to these complexities, individuals seeking to prove vehicle damages need support from legal professionals experienced in auto accidents. The personal injury lawyers can guide you through the intricate processes, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if necessary, represent the claimant in legal proceedings to ensure a fair settlement.

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Author Bio

Samuel ‘Sam’ Nordean is a founding partner of Nordean Law, APC. He is passionate about standing up for people who struggle with accidental injuries and mistreatment from insurance companies. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degrees in Biochemistry from Portland State University. He then earned his Juris Doctor degree from Chapman University School of Law. Sam started Nordean Law to commit to helping people who cannot fight for themselves. His strengths are in representing victims in car accidents, fatal accidents, negligence cases and liability accidents.

Picture of Author Bio
Author Bio

Samuel ‘Sam’ Nordean is a founding partner of Nordean Law, APC. He is passionate about standing up for people who struggle with accidental injuries and mistreatment from insurance companies. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degrees in Biochemistry from Portland State University. He then earned his Juris Doctor degree from Chapman University School of Law. Sam started Nordean Law to commit to helping people who cannot fight for themselves. His strengths are in representing victims in car accidents, fatal accidents, negligence cases and liability accidents.

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