SUVs are America’s favorite motor vehicle. Throughout the first half of the year, SUV sales were up 14%, according to MSN News. However, SUVs have been cited as a leading cause of road fatalities. The Verge reports that the number of fatalities in 2017 involving SUVs increased by 3% compared to the previous year. Therefore, when it comes to driving safely on the roads, is the nation’s top choice of vehicle really the safest?
Speeding around town
Since 2010, the number of SUVs and CUVs sold in America has more than doubled. However, these vehicles have a lot of horsepower. As a result, SUV drivers are often caught speeding. 28% of Toyota FJ Cruiser owners have received a ticket for speeding. Meanwhile, more than 30% of Infiniti QX80 drivers have been fined for speeding in the past three years. Driving in excess of the speed limit is something which many SUV owners do. Therefore, it’s important you know how to safely pull over when instructed to do so by the cops and how to keep yourself safe in the process.
The real risks of speeding
Of course, no driver wants to be fined or receive points on their license for committing a speeding offense in their SUV. However, the real risk of speeding in your SUV is to pedestrians. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that there was an 81% increase in single-vehicle pedestrian fatalities between the years of 2009 and 2016 involving SUVs. This is mostly due to the large body and high carriage design of SUVs, teamed with excess speed. Therefore, it is essential that SUV drivers pay full attention to the roads at all times, including other road users and pedestrians. Furthermore, speed limits should be adhered to and road conditions closely monitored.
Better safety for drivers and passengers
It’s not just pedestrians that SUVs pose a risk to. The number of SUV drivers and passengers who sadly lost their lives while driving or riding in an SUV increased by 3% in 2017. The latest SUV models come packed full of technology which can be a distraction to drivers. The Volvo XC90 comes with hidden 360-degree cameras which riders will undoubtedly have fun playing around with. Whereas, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has an onboard infotainment center which can result in drivers taking their eyes off the road and driving faster than they intended. While the gadgets inside SUVs are what makes them must-have luxury vehicles, it’s essential that drivers and their passengers ensure that they are only utilized when it is safe to do so to prevent the tech inhibiting their driving.
SUVs are growing in popularity throughout America. But, it’s important to note that research has revealed that these sought after vehicles have been linked to an increase in road fatalities. Therefore, SUV owners must ensure extra precautions are taken when driving their beloved vehicle to keep both themselves, other road users and pedestrians safe from harm.