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Why new vehicles are a bigger threat to young pedestrians

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2024 | Pedestrian Accidents

Most people tend to assume that newer vehicles are automatically safer than older vehicles. There are some factors that make this assumption largely reasonable. Vehicles built in the last few years have not experienced material degradation caused by age and weather. The frames and panels of older vehicles may become brittle and more likely to break catastrophically during a crash when compared with newer vehicles.

Additionally, engineers have learned a lot about collisions and materials in recent years, allowing them to design vehicles that do a better job of protecting their occupants. Unfortunately, newer vehicles can sometimes be a bigger safety risk, especially for pedestrians who are small. What makes newer vehicles riskier for diminutive pedestrians, like children?

Their larger size

Trends in automotive design in recent years have favored bigger designs. Larger vehicle styles, including crossovers and SUVs, have dominated the market for more than a decade. Those bigger vehicles have more momentum and can therefore cause more serious injuries even when a crash occurs at relatively low speeds. Children, in particular, could end up knocked down or worse when struck by large vehicles.

Their visibility issues

One of the design factors intended to improve occupancy is a change in windshield and window design. Specifically, manufacturers have started including smaller windshields and windows. They are less likely to catastrophically break and injure people in the event of a high-speed collision. Sadly, they also create bigger blind spots, especially when the vehicle in question is particularly large and tall. A driver trying to monitor their surroundings might be unable to spot pedestrians as they approach the front of their vehicle from either side because of the reduced size of the windshield in the vehicle.

Frontover crashes where vehicles traveling at low speeds and parking lots or in driveways slowly drive over children have increased significantly in recent years. Many of these collisions involve children who are easier to overlook in large vehicles.

When a vehicle causes a pedestrian crash, the insurance policy of the driver at fault for the incident can help compensate the parties affected. However, pedestrian collisions often cause catastrophic injuries that lead to more medical interventions and a bigger impact on someone’s long-term earning potential. Filing a personal injury lawsuit could be a reasonable response to a pedestrian crash caused by a large vehicle, especially if the incident seriously injured a child.