MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Pedestrian deaths have been on the rise in recent years. Researchers, looking for a reason why, discovered certain vehicles are more likely to be involved in these types of accidents.
A memorial on a Los Angeles street corner marks the place where a child and his babysitter died tragically.
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Police say Eligia Morales was walking 2-year-old Julian across the street when an SUV hit them while making a left turn.
“He had so much life to live, we had so many plans for him,” said Julian’s father.
The accident happened as a new report shows that SUVs and pickup trucks are more likely than cars to hit pedestrians while making turns.
“When a pedestrian was killed and intersection an SUV was twice as likely to be turning left, a van was three times as likely to be turning left and pickups were nearly four times as likely to be turning left,” explained Jessica Cicchino, VP of research at the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety.
Cicchino says it’s not clear why, but she believes visibility may play a role.
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“One of the contenders is the A pillar, that area right in the front of your vehicle between the windshield and your front windows,” Cicchino. “That can be a blind spot in the front of your vehicle.”
In 2021, almost 80% of new vehicles sold were trucks or SUVs. That’s up from just over 50% in 2010.
At the same time pedestrian deaths increased – up 59% between 2009 and 2020
“If you have a larger vehicle, you would want to keep in mind that there might be times when you can’t see pedestrians as well, particularly when you’re turning, so make sure you take that extra look,” Cicchino said,
Researchers say more study is needed to find out exactly what is causing the issue and if design changes can fix it.
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A study from Consumer Reports last year found higher hoods on trucks and SUVs can also obstruct a driver’s view of pedestrians in certain situations.