The number of people in Texas and across the nation buying large trucks and SUVs continues to outpace the number of traditional sedans, and this means heightened risks for pedestrians and cyclists. Many people buy big cars because they feel as if they are safer in the event of a wreck, but research shows this only holds true for the people riding inside the large vehicle.
According to Slate, while bigger cars may offer more protection for the driver and passengers riding in them, they pose a more substantial threat to pedestrians and bicyclists than traditional sedans. This is concerning given that large vehicle sales started outpacing sedan sales back in 2002 and have continued to do so in the years since.
Why big cars are a big threat
Bigger cars weigh more than smaller vehicles, but they also have high leading edges, which are the parts of the vehicle that strike a pedestrian or cyclist first in a wreck. This means a pedestrian or cyclist may feel the brunt of the truck or SUV’s force higher up on his or her body, where there is more potential to cause serious or internal injuries.
What some jurisdictions are doing
The threat posed by large trucks and SUVs is so notable that some countries have enacted new rules about vehicle registration fees. France, for example, assesses fees to drivers based on the weight of their vehicles. Domestically, California is considering doing something similar and charging residents registration fees based on how much their vehicles weigh.
Whether such changes make their way across Texas and the nation is not yet clear.