Pedestrian Dangers of Large Vehicles Such as Pickups and SUVs

large pickup truck
Posted: April 19, 2023

The most worrisome blind spot on many of today’s vehicles might be the one right in front. 


The tall, muscular hoods of America’s growing army of tanklike pickups and SUVs can keep drivers from seeing pedestrians and children.  


The view from the windshield is so obstructed in many newer pickups and SUVs — and the overall size and weight of the vehicles so unforgiving — that parent groups and some legislators have begun demanding action to make roadways safer for young pedestrians and help prevent “front over” deaths. The growth of pickups and SUVs, driven by a consumer preference indulged by automakers across the board, is fueling a darker trend: that of the fatal “front-over,” in which the driver of an outsized truck or SUV driver runs over something or someone right in front of the vehicle.  


The number of children 14 and under who were killed in front-over accidents between 1990 and 1999 was 22, according to the advocacy group Between 2000 and 2009, that number was 366. And between 2010 and 2019, it was 543. 


In most fatal front-over accidents, the victim is between 12 and 23 months old, and in eight in 10 cases a truck, van, or SUV is involved, according to 


According to reports, pedestrians are two-to-three times more likely to die when struck by an SUV or pickup truck than when struck by a car. Research has found a significant increase in pedestrian fatalities involving pickup trucks, vans, and SUVs between 2009 and 2016.  

Bigger, Heavier, and More Dangerous 

The popularity of huge vehicles is making the nation’s roads deadlier, a growing body of data suggests. Numerous studies have found that SUVs and trucks are more deadly to pedestrians in almost any type of crash. These types of vehicles are more likely to kill, according to a 2020 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 


According to aConsumer Reports analysis of industry data, the hood height of passenger trucks has grown by an average of at least 11 percent since 2000. New pickups also have grown 24 percent heavier on average. Some now weigh more than 4,000 pounds and many have unforgiving designs. Which is to say they’redeadlier in the event of a pedestrian strike.


While the number of people killed in traffic accidents in the United States fell between 1980 and 2018, the number of pedestrians killed has steadily risen in recent years, according to the IIHS study. 

Infrastructure Bill to Encourage Safety Improvements 

The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 encourages technology to prevent drunk driving and crash tests to identify risks to people outside a vehicle.  


Included is an overhaul of the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) and standards for bumpers and hoods to reduce injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists. 

Proposed Updates to NCAP 

According to the NHTSA, the following updates to NCAP have been proposed: 

  • Four new driver-assistance technologies: lane-keeping support, pedestrian automatic emergency braking, blind-spot detection, and blind-spot intervention 
  • Stronger testing procedures and performance criteria for driver-assistance technologies 
  • Establishment of a 10-year roadmap for future NCAP updates 
  • Requests for commenting on ways to develop a meaningful ratings system for driver-assistance technologies 
  • The potential addition of emerging vehicle technologies related to driver distraction, alcohol detection, seat belt interlocks, intelligent speed assist, driver monitoring systems, and rear seat child reminder assist. 
  • Discussion of ways to provide a crash -avoidance rating on the window sticker on new and used vehicles. 

Hurt in a Car? Call William Mattar, P.C. 

If you were injured by an oversized truck or SUV or any other kind of vehicle, contact William Mattar, P.C. today. Our experienced truck-accident lawyers can advocate for you so that you receive maximum compensation for pain and suffering. Schedule a free initial consultation today by submitting an online consultation form or calling us at (844) 444-4444.  

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