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Increase in SUVs may be a factor in rise of pedestrian deaths

Although there has been a concerted effort in New York City and numerous other cities and towns across the U.S., the number of fatal pedestrian accidents has remained high. While many factors have been blamed for the increase, including smartphone use and marijuana legalization, a study showed that SUVs might be a major part of the problem.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there was an 81 percent increase in fatal pedestrian accidents that involved SUVs from 2009 to 2016. Further, SUVs reportedly became the number one cause of death for pedestrians in 2014. This makes sense as the number of SUVs on the road have increased over the years. Because these vehicles are heavier and bigger, they can be more dangerous than sedans if they strike a pedestrian.

It should be noted that New York City is one of 34 cities that have joined Vision Zero, which is a country-wide program that is focusing on ultimately eliminating fatal pedestrian accidents. The city worked to redesign intersections that were particularly problematic to make them more pedestrian friendly. New York City's efforts resulted in 101 pedestrian deaths in 2017, one of the lowest numbers the city had seen since 1910 when vehicles were starting to take over the streets.

If a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle, he or she may be at risk for suffering serious or even life-threatening injuries, like broken bones and traumatic brain injuries. In many cases, the driver who struck the pedestrian is likely to be held liable for pedestrian's injuries and other associated damages. Because these types of cases can be complex, a family law attorney may represent the injured pedestrian by working with the doctor to determine the full extent of the injuries and communicate with the insurance company to reach a settlement that covers the cost of the medical bills and other damages.

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