According to a research study published in Accident Analysis & Prevention journal, our love affair with light trucks may be causing more Florida car accidents and pedestrian accidents – and more traffic accidents nationwide. The research was completed by researchers at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Rowan University.
Researchers at Rowan University used the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), the Pedestrian Crash Data Study (PCDS), and the General Estimates System (GES) to gather information about crash statistics. Researchers compared injuries and accidents involving SUVs (sport utility vehicles), light trucks, pickup trucks, vans, and passenger vehicles.
The researchers concluded that passenger vehicles are shifting. More customers are purchasing vans and lights trucks, rather than the smaller cars which have traditionally made up the bulk of passenger cars. However, vans and light trucks are designed differently. They are more blunt, stiffer, and heavier. Their load is distributed differently. Researchers concluded that these differences make these vehicles more likely to cause serious Florida pedestrian accidents and Florida vehicle rollovers – as well as pedestrian accidents and rollovers across the country.
Researchers also found that passengers hit by a van or a light truck are two to three times as likely to sustain fatal injuries as pedestrians hit by a passenger vehicle. As well, pedestrians involved in an accident with a truck or van are significantly more likely to sustain a serous brain injury or thoracic injury when compared with pedestrians struck by a car. This substantiates common emergency room findings, where doctors report that more victims of Florida truck accidents sustain serious injuries to the head region. The fact that the front of trucks are higher and blunter can help account for this.
Florida currently has one of the highest fatality rates among pedestrians, and a love of the truck may be one reason, according to the Rowan university study and others like it. Of course, we cannot give up trucks. After all, they do help the economy and people often use trucks and light vans for work or for recreation. Ironically, many people may be purchasing trucks because they believe that trucks and larger vehicles are safer. Indeed, truck manufacturers often tout the safety ratings of light trucks and cars over smaller economy cars.