Pedestrians Injured by SUV Crashes

SUV crashes are causing an increasing number of pedestrian injuries and deaths in Massachusetts and across the U.S.Fatal pedestrian accidents are rising, as are the number of at-fault drivers operating SUVs. Between 2009 and 2016, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported a 81 percent increase in fatal pedestrian accidents involving SUVs. The institute released another small study in 2020, which found SUV crashes led to more pedestrian fatalities than cars, the difference increasing at higher speeds. To protect pedestrians, the institute concluded it was time to encourage SUV design change.

SUVs are a danger to pedestrians because of their front-end design and their size. SUVs are heavy, large and wide, with bumpers and grills that can strike pedestrians multiple times. 

SUV Drivers Using Reasonable Care

Checking for Pedestrians. SUV drivers cause crashes by failing to use reasonable care. SUV drivers have a broad blindspot and have a responsibility to look for pedestrians before moving.  An important safety step is using tools that increase visibility, such as a backup camera. If older SUVs are not equipped with cameras, drivers can purchase one on their own.  A camera can help drivers check for pedestrians and cyclists at intersections and make safer decisions.

In parking lots, it is easier for SUV drivers to use reasonable care when they park with their bumper aligned with the front of the space. This offers the best view of other cars and pedestrian traffic. Drivers still need to check both sides and behind, but this can be less straining and result in fewer accidents. 

Backover and Frontover Accidents. Backover accidents occur when a driver backs an SUV out of a driveway or parking space and strikes a child or a pedestrian. In recent years, federal data shows SUV drivers are also hitting children in frontover accidents. Most drivers never even see or hear children until after the moment of impact. If they had, they would have taken essential precautions.

This is where drivers have to be proactive. Drivers can reduce the risk by walking around and inspecting their vehicle before pulling forward. They can also ask another adult to keep children inside as they pull in or leave the driveway. 

Travel Slowly. SUV drivers should also operate slowly in residential neighborhoods and other areas pedestrians may frequent. The faster the speed, the more likely any driver is to fatally injure a pedestrian if there is a crash. A recent study found SUVs were more likely to cause pedestrian fatalities at higher speeds than cars.

Distractions. SUV drivers are not using reasonable care when they pick up cell phones. Drivers are banned from using handheld cell phones in Massachusetts. They are not allowed to talk or text while holding phones. In the moment it takes a driver to check their cell phone, a pedestrian can be struck and killed by a large vehicle.

SUV drivers can also become distracted by their passengers, including children, friends or carpools. 

Inexperience. Drivers may have decades of experience, but not enough practice operating an SUV. An inexperienced driver is more likely to make operator errors, resulting in an SUV rollover or an SUV striking a pedestrian or another vehicle from the front.

When a Pedestrian is Injured By a SUV

Pedestrian injuries caused by SUVs crashes are always serious. At the scene, accept an ambulance ride from the scene to receive medical treatment. 

Once you are stabilized, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Boston car accident lawyer. At Breakstone, White & Gluck, our attorneys are prepared to launch an immediate investigation in pedestrian accident cases and protect our clients’ interests.

Potential Compensation for Injured Pedestrians
A pedestrian accident can change one's life significantly.  You may not be able to work and medical expenses can quickly mount, even if you have health insurance. Because Massachusetts has a Statute of Limitations, you should consult a lawyer promptly to preserve your legal rights.

Under Massachusetts law, a pedestrian who has been injured by an SUV driver’s negligence may be entitled to seek financial compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. Other damages may also be available in your specific case. When a pedestrian is killed, their family may be entitled to pursue punitive damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. Families are advised to consult a lawyer if a loved one dies from their injuries.

Free Legal Consultation - Boston Pedestrian SUV Crash Lawyers

After an SUV accident or rollover, victims and families suffer pain, distress and grieving. Consult Breakstone, White & Gluck and our Boston car accident attorneys today and learn your legal rights. Breakstone, White & Gluck serves clients across Massachusetts, including in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Quincy, Brockton, Plymouth, Everett, Revere, Saugus and Braintree. For a free legal consultation, contact Breakstone, White & Gluck at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.
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