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Report: Number of pedestrians killed by SUVs increasing

Posted at 5:42 PM, Jul 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-06 17:42:28-04

The number of deadly accidents involving pedestrians and vehicles sits at a 25-year high. There's been an uptick in fatal pedestrian crashes involving sport utility vehicles according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Last year alone, there was a significant increase of 7.9 percent compared to similar crashes involving cars which went up 5.1 percent

"Injuries to the major organs are the biggest concern," said Dr. Jerri Rose.

Last year, SUVs and crossovers made up more than 40 percent of all car sales. 

That trend, along with increased distractions behind the wheel, are creating concern for Rose, an emergency room doctor at University Hospitals.

"On both sides, both driver and pedestrian we have to have an awareness of the safety risks," Rose said.

As for why the spike in deaths? 

When you compare the two, we know SUVS tend to weigh more.

"It makes sense with the physics of that, that is can set people up for more severe injuries or even lethal injuries," said Rose.

But because SUVs sit higher, Rose said that means more of your body is put in danger. 

"Often with a sedan if a person is struck lower on the body it might throw them away from the vehicle as opposed to a vehicle that has a higher front profile the body is going to take more of an impact," Rose said.

Between 2009 and 2016, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety calculated an 81 percent increase in single-vehicle pedestrian fatalities involving SUVs.

"It's just a message to all of us as drivers and pedestrians we really have to be aware of our surroundings," Rose said..

In the first half of 2017, 55 pedestrians in Ohio were killed when they were hit by cars and SUVs. Nationwide, the number is projected to be nearly 6,000 this year.