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Deaths from pedestrian motor vehicle accidents are on the rise

Sports utility vehicles make up over half of new vehicle sales, and it is not hard to understand why. These versatile vehicles are popular choices for California families and anyone looking for additional room and mileage. But what about safety? For those worried about motor vehicle accidents, the SUV might not be the best pick.

Pedestrian deaths were on the decline approximately 20 years ago. However, about a decade ago things took an unexpected upward turn, and fatal pedestrian accidents started to climb upward again. Are distracted drivers and careless pedestrians to blame? Experts say these might be contributing factors, but the real problem is the type of vehicle populating the road -- the popular SUV.

SUVs are typically designed with high front ends, which can easily knock a person underneath the vehicle during an accident. Smaller motor vehicles tend to knock people to the side during a collision. The difference between these impacts has led to about 6,000 pedestrian fatalities, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

While the number of pedestrian accidents has not necessarily gone up, the number of related deaths has soared, putting those who must walk near roads at an ever-increasing risk for death. The outcome of these types of motor vehicle accidents can be devastating, particularly for California families who are left behind to carry on without their loved one. While compensation cannot return someone's life, any resulting recourse from a successfully pursued wrongful death claim can be essential for addressing the financial and emotional aftermath.

Source: NBC News, "What's behind the 18 percent rise in pedestrians killed by SUVs?", Paul A. Eisenstein, May 15, 2018

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