More Cars With High Front Ends Means More Pedestrian Deaths

More Cars With High Front Ends Means More Pedestrian DeathsChoosing a big car with a high front might make drivers feel safe, but it turns out that this design can be extremely dangerous for people walking around, especially small children. Whether the driver chose the large vehicle for its intimidating profile, its spacious interior, or simply because it was the one on the lot that they liked, pedestrians are more likely to get seriously hurt or killed if they get hit by these large vehicles. With the increase of pedestrian injuries and fatalities, it’s time we rethink whether the comfort of drivers in these vehicles is worth the risk to people on foot.

Tall and blunt front ends leaves pedestrians at higher risk of injury

A recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that certain types of vehicles, like pickups and SUVs with tall front ends, are more likely to cause serious harm to pedestrians in accidents. The study, based on the analysis of nearly 18,000 pedestrian crashes, showed that these vehicles have a 45 percent higher chance of causing fatalities compared to cars with lower front ends. The research suggests that the way vehicles look, especially if they seem aggressive, can make them more dangerous to people on foot.

The study comes at a time when the number of pedestrian deaths in accidents has gone up by 80 percent since 2009, with over 7,400 pedestrians losing their lives in 2021 alone. The report highlights that changes in the size and design of vehicles over the past 30 years contribute to the increased risk for pedestrians.

The researchers recommend that car makers consider altering the design of vehicles by lowering the front part of the car and changing the angle of the grille to make it less blocky. This, they believe, could help make accidents involving pedestrians less severe.

Is it really worth it?

Some of us may really enjoy the look and the feel of a larger vehicle. We may think we’re safe drivers, and that it’s other, more careless people who shouldn’t be driving these types of trucks and SUVs. However, all it takes is one mistake – one errant child crossing the road when we glance away for a brief moment.

Last year, Vox released an article detailing the increase in pedestrian deaths, focusing on the story of a woman whose child was killed when she was struck by a van in a crosswalk. The story is tragic, and it is hardly the only one of its kind. In that article, the same point was made as is still being made today:

SUVs and trucks are getting bigger, and Americans are buying more of them every year. Between 2000 and 2019, the number of sedans and other small vehicles on the road dropped from over 60 percent to around 40 percent of all vehicles, according to an analysis by Justin Tyndall, assistant professor of economics at the University of Hawaii. The number of SUVs increased from 10 percent to more than 30 percent. And the appetite for larger vehicles isn’t slowing down: In October 2021, according to the consumer research firm JD Power, trucks and SUVs made up over 80 percent of all new vehicle sales.

Big vehicles may a reason why hit-and-runs are on the rise

Last year, CNN reported on some disturbing statistics. In 2020, the United States experienced a significant and record-breaking surge in deaths per mile traveled on its roads, with hit-and-run fatalities increasing by 26%, surpassing the overall rise in road-related deaths. The data, recently released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reveals a concerning trend of escalating hit-and-run incidents over the past 15 years, particularly affecting pedestrians and cyclists. In 2020, nearly 70% of hit-and-run deaths involved pedestrians or cyclists, marking a notable increase from 61.1% in 2006. Shockingly, one in four pedestrian deaths in 2020 resulted from hit-and-run incidents.

While infrastructure and a certain lack of safety features may have something to do with this increase, tall front ends on vehicles cannot be overlooked. This much can even be seen here in Chicago. According to, “two thirds of Chicago traffic deaths involved drivers traveling at high speeds. Over half of pedestrians killed in the city are hit by an SUV or larger vehicle.”

At Gainsberg Injury and Accident Lawyers, we see far too many clients who were victims or hit-and-runs. We also represent too many clients that have lost loved ones to vehicles with tall front ends. While we are honored to be chosen to represent those clients, we would rather those accidents had not happened in the first place. If you or a loved one has been in such an accident, our attorneys are experienced and knowledgeable, ready to handle your case with care and dedication. We will ensure that you receive just compensation from the careless driver that caused your pain and suffering. To schedule a free consultation, call us in Chicago, or use our contact form. We serve the people of Chicago and Cook County.