Death on foot: America’s love of SUVs is killing pedestrians
Almost 6,000 pedestrians died on or along U.S. roads in 2016 alone — nearly as many Americans as have died in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002. Data analyses by the Free Press/USA TODAY and others show that SUVs are the constant in the increase and account for a steadily growing proportion of deaths.
Our investigation found:
- Federal safety regulators have known for years that SUVs, with their higher front-end profile, are at least twice as likely as cars to kill the walkers, joggers and children they hit, yet have done little to reduce deaths or publicize the danger.
- A federal proposal to factor pedestrians into vehicle safety ratings has stalled, with opposition from some automakers.
- The rising tide of pedestrian deaths is primarily an urban plague that kills minorities at a disproportionate rate.