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Are design issues causing SUV/pedestrian crashes?

On Behalf of | May 30, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Due mostly to their height, SUVs are more likely to roll than lower vehicles, like sedans. They just tend to be a bit more top-heavy, so taking a sharp turn can cause them to overturn. This is even more of a problem if the SUV has a lift kit or is taller than usual.

To counter this, auto designers have started using massive A-pillars. The A-pillars are the ones right in front of you when you’re driving, framing the windshield. They provide a lot of protection if you are involved in a rollover accident, as the A-pillars need to be strong enough to hold the entire bulk of the car above you. This keeps it from compressing while you’re still in the passenger compartment.

While this may be a good thing for rollover accidents, it’s causing a brand-new issue with pedestrian accidents.

Blocking the driver’s view

The issue is that the A-pillars can be so wide that they block the driver’s view if they’re looking to either side. This doesn’t matter as much when they’re driving straight, but it can mean that they can’t really see where they’re turning as they execute that turn.

For instance, a driver may pull up to a green light, looking to make a left-hand turn. They have to wait for oncoming traffic to clear, and this means that the pedestrians in the walkway also have the right of way. But, as that driver turns, the A-pillar blocks their view of the crosswalk. They could turn left into someone who is legally walking across the road and strike that pedestrian before they even know anyone is there.

This can also be an issue when turning right. A pedestrian may be waiting on the sidewalk to cross the street, but the driver of the car can’t even see them through the A-pillar. That driver then starts to execute their right-hand turn as soon as the light turns green, but that’s also when the pedestrian is supposed to enter the crosswalk.

Have you been seriously injured?

Accidents involving pedestrians and SUVs can cause severe injuries and may include fatal trauma. If you have lost a loved one or suffered serious injuries yourself, then you need to know how to seek financial compensation from the driver who was responsible.