News & Opinion | July 2, 2018 9:15 am

Death by SUV: America’s Love of Big Cars Is Killing More Pedestrians

Pedestrians deaths are up 46 percent since 2009, as SUVs have made a comeback in popularity.

(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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A Detroit Free Press and USA Today network investigation has found that America’s love of SUVs is the most likely cause of escalating pedestrian deaths nationwide, which are up 46 percent since 2009, according to the study. In 2016 alone, nearly 6,000 pedestrians died on or along U.S. roads, according to USA Today. This is nearly as many Americans that have died in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002. The papers’ study and data analysis show that SUVS are the one constant in the increase and account for a steadily growing proportion of deaths.

For years, federal safety regulators have known that SUVs are at least twice as likely as cars to kill the walkers, joggers, and children they hit because of their higher front-end profile. However, SUV designers at automakers have done little to reduce death or acknowledge the danger. In addition, the story found that the rise of pedestrian deaths is primarily an urban issue and that it affects minorities at a disproportionate rate.