Motor vehicles have gone through many eras. Small compact cars were once all the rage, particularly when fears of oil shortages increased gas prices nationwide. The rise of electric cars gave drivers a cleaner-energy alternative. Self-driving vehicles, while still a work in progress, are gaining prominence and could represent the future of transportation.
For sports utility vehicle enthusiasts, a lager vehicle size has seemed to represent a safer ride. The same cannot be said for pedestrians who are hit by SUVs.
SUVs and Pedestrian Deaths
SUV owners and manufacturers hype the vehicles as safe, in part thanks to additional space that comes with a larger vehicle. Yet, when SUVs collide with smaller cars, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians, serious injuries and fatalities are common.
In fact, after hitting a low point 11 years ago, pedestrian deaths in motor vehicle accidents have increased an alarming 40%. Experts say a likely factor is the rise of SUV and truck purchases, which accounted for 70% of new vehicle sales last year.
In addition to the “bigger is better” trend, drivers of all vehicles are notching more miles. With more vehicles on the road, the risk of a crash increases. It’s also noteworthy that smart-device technology does not appear to be helping, as drivers and walkers continue to distract themselves with smartphones and other devices.
Options for Injury Victims and Their Families
If you or a loved one has been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost income and other costs resulting from the crash. However, you can expect the insurance company to try to pay you as little as possible. To maximize your medical care and financial compensation, talk with an experienced personal injury attorney before speaking with the insurance company.