The 2021 Ford F-250 measures almost 55” high at the hood. This height could make a child or someone in a wheelchair virtually invisible to the driver at close range. If someone who is 5’ 6” tall were struck by a new 6,000 pound F-250 the impact would typically be in the upper chest or head. The reality is even a minor impact in this region could lead to serious injury or even death.
As a nation, many drivers have moved from sedans to SUV’s in the past decade. Many of the reasons for this switch boil down to different ways of saying they are safer or bigger. Those benefits only extend to the people inside the vehicle. Pedestrians, cyclists and wheelchair users are at increased risk. This helps to explain why vehicle occupant deaths have remained stable over the past decade while pedestrian fatalities have risen by about 50 percent. From 2019 to 2020, pedestrian deaths per vehicle miles traveled increased a record 21 percent. This death toll has many causes, but the front end of many pickup trucks and SUVs are a big part of the problem.
In 2002 Keith Bradsher noted in his book, High and Mighty, that the auto industry tapped into some “reptilian” impulses for more aggressive vehicles. A Chrysler marketer in the 1990s who helped launch the SUV trend compared the road to a “battlefield.” Bradsher quoted him as saying, “My theory is, the reptilian always wins.” The reptilian says, ‘If there’s a crash, I want the other guy to die.’ Of course I can’t say that out loud.” He probably meant “the guy in the other car.” What about the guy in the street? In 2003, a study found that SUVs were three times more likely than sedans to kill pedestrians when they struck them. Leg injuries are dreadful, but “serious head and chest injuries can actually kill you,” the injury-biomechanics professor Clay Gabler told the Detroit Free Press in 2018.
The recently enacted $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill is the first real attempt to address the regulatory shortfall. The bill requires that our five-star vehicle-safety-rating system—the New Car Assessment Program—be overhauled and that ratings be added for pedestrian impacts. Even better, the infrastructure bill calls for regulators at the U.S. Department of Transportation to develop standards for bumpers and hoods aimed at reducing injuries to pedestrians and cyclists. The agency will have two years to develop the standards and present them to Congress.
We represent people who are injured because of the careless and reckless acts of others. At the end of the day your case can only be settled one time and you need to know all of the facts beforehand. The reason that insurance companies have paid our clients in excess of $130,000,000.00 is that we get the facts and are not intimidated at the prospect of going to trial when insurance companies fail to offer full compensation. We help with serious injuries that require serious representation. We are the Law Offices of Guenard & Bozarth, LLP. Our attorneys have more than 60 years of experience specializing in only representing injured people. Call GB Legal 24/7/365 at 888-809-1075 or visit www.gblegal.com We would be honored to represent you!