Pedestrians are vulnerable to serious injury or death in any type of motor vehicle collision because a motor vehicle is significantly larger and heavier than a pedestrian, and those outside of a car don’t have seat belts, air bags or anything else to protect them. However, those who walk, run or bike on Hawaii streets may be especially vulnerable to serious injury or death if they are struck by SUVs.
Your legs or knees will likely take the brunt of the impact from a typical passenger vehicle. This might result in a broken leg or other injuries that you have a relatively good chance of recovering from. However, as SUVs are taller than the average vehicle, you will likely be struck closer to your midsection, which may put vital organs at risk of significant damage.
You’re almost invisible
Those who operate larger trucks or SUVs generally have the best view of traffic as they literally tower over other cars on the road. However, this advantage may be lost when making turns. According to research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), SUVs and other large vehicles are more likely to be involved in pedestrian accidents when making a turn.
This may be because of the way the roof is attached to the vehicle. In many cases, pillars extend from the sides of the windshield to the top of the SUV and may obstruct a motorist’s view when moving to the left or right. If a driver cannot see you, it’s less likely that they will slow down or stop. Ultimately, you may be hit by a car that is traveling at higher speeds, which may increase the severity of an accident.
Even though a motorist is responsible for their actions while they’re behind the wheel, it’s a good idea for pedestrians and cyclists to be aware of their surroundings, especially on Hawaii’s narrower rural roads.