Cyclists who regularly share the road with vehicles know that drivers don’t always take the care needed to avoid those on two wheels. Too often, they don’t even see them.
It should certainly come as no surprise that the larger the vehicle is, the more serious the injuries can be to a cyclist if they collide. A recent study provides some detail about just how much more dangerous it is for a cyclist to be struck by an SUV than a car.
Using an injury scale that grades severity, researchers found that cyclist injuries were 55% worse when hit by an SUV than by a smaller, lighter vehicle. Head injuries were 63% worse.
Here’s another disturbing number: Since 2009, 15% of collisions between cyclists and pedestrians and vehicles involved SUVs. However, 25% of fatalities involved an SUV.
Why SUVs are more dangerous for cyclists to share the road with
SUVs are more likely to cause a bicyclist to fall off their bike and onto the ground than cars are. This can cause even more serious injuries than the force of being struck by a vehicle. Those hit by cars are more likely to fly up onto the hood or roof of the vehicle.
SUVs, like the increasingly large pickup trucks, have several features that work to the disadvantage of cyclists. They have larger blind spots, particularly when turning. Their headlights are higher, so they can more easily blind those in front of them. They have a higher front end, which can push a cyclist to the ground (and also potentially make it more difficult to see small pedestrians in front of them like children). Of course, their larger weight can also worsen the severity of injuries.
Injuries can follow you for a lifetime
All of this simply highlights the importance of staying as far away from SUVs and larger vehicles as is safe while you’re biking. It’s also crucial not to assume that a driver sees you even if it seems like they should.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a collision involving an SUV, it’s crucial to ensure that you get the compensation you need for medical care in the short term as well as for the long-term ramifications of these injuries. By having experienced legal guidance, you can better protect your rights to justice and compensation.