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Pickup Trucks are Four Times More Likely to Strike and Kill Pedestrians While Turning

January 25, 2023

According to an online news report published on, a new study indicates that light truck vehicles or LTVs, such as pickup trucks and Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) have a serious design defect that is killing pedestrians.

An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) study discovered that LTVs were disproportionately likely to cause fatal injuries to pedestrians. Safety advocates believe that it is a design defect that is the primary safety problem. The design issue is the typical high, flat front end that modern trucks have, and this limits the driver's visibility, making pedestrian accidents more likely and more deadly. Being struck by today's modern tall pickup trucks or SUVs is described as being hit by a fast-moving wall. The safety advocates at urge auto manufacturers to make their trucks safer or municipalities should ban the vehicles from cities.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety just released a new study examining the causal relationship between passenger vehicle types and pedestrian collision types. Researchers Jessica Cicchino and Wen Hu stated that their investigation is the first of its kind and used state and federal crash data. Their research study uncovered that the LTVs were extremely dangerous while making turns. The researchers stated that when pickup trucks turn left, the drivers were four times more likely to kill pedestrians than cars, three times more likely to kill pedestrians than vans, and two times more likely to kill pedestrians than SUVs. When turning right, pickup trucks were nearly 90% more likely to kill pedestrians during a collision. 

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety researchers propose that a design flaw is to blame for the increase in fatal pedestrian collisions. The researchers believe that the shape, size, and location of the roof A-pillars on both sides of the windshield create large blind spots for drivers when they are turning, leading to pedestrian collisions. Unfortunately, motor vehicles are designed to protect the passengers and not the vulnerable pedestrians around them. Moreover, pickup trucks can weigh as much as 5,000 pounds, and federal regulations mandate that the roof pillars support the vehicle on all four points. That is why the pillars must be so thick and create a larger blind spot as a result. 

Another danger involves the hood of pickup trucks and SUVs being so elevated that drivers of these vehicles cannot see pedestrians in front of their vehicles. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study deduced that LTVs had a higher probability of causing certain types of pedestrian collisions when pedestrians near the front corners of LTVs. These collisions occur more frequently along city streets due to the high number of pedestrian traffic. The researchers also recommended that additional research is conducted on A-pillar blind zones. Should new research show that LTVs have more significant blind zones, auto manufacturers should be required to design A-pillars that have smaller blind zones while retaining strength. 

In Europe, all vehicles are designed to reduce the danger of fatal pedestrian collisions. The adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) can provide a fantastic opportunity to correct these safety issues because EVs do not have an engine upfront. Lead researcher Wen Hu believes that improving vehicle design, updating road infrastructure, and reducing vehicle speeds in urban areas will reduce pedestrian collisions and fatalities. 

Did you or a loved one suffer an accident injury caused by a negligent driver? 

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Sources: In the article and

Category: Personal Injury

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All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.