The good news is that crash-avoidance systems now in many vehicles have reduced rates of crashes involving pedestrians by 27% and have cut the severity of pedestrian injuries when crashes do...

The good news is that crash-avoidance systems now in many vehicles have reduced rates of crashes involving pedestrians by 27% and have cut the severity of pedestrian injuries when crashes do happen.

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A traffic safety group called for automakers and road planners to make conditions safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

Both vehicle and road design are major factors in nonmotorists’ safety, said the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in an article posted on its website.

“Design that accounts for human vulnerabilities and can accommodate mistakes made by drivers and other road users is the backbone of a safe system,” said IIHS Senior Vice President, Research, Jessica Cicchino in the post.

The piece says research shows larger vehicles, including SUVs, pickup trucks and light vans, are more likely to kill or seriously injure pedestrians and cyclists in a crash than are smaller vehicles like sedans. That difference is more relevant today because SUVs and trucks make up a much bigger share of vehicles sold than in the past. SUVs alone represented 36% of registered vehicles last year compared to 24% 10 years earlier, IIHS said.

The nonprofit insurance industry group said size and shape contribute to the heightened danger for nonmotorists in crashes with the larger vehicles. Visibility constraints are another possible factor.

The good news is that crash-avoidance systems now in many vehicles have reduced rates of crashes involving pedestrians by 27% and have cut the severity of pedestrian injuries when crashes do occur, the group said.

Meanwhile, IIHS is calling for road engineers to tweak their designs to reduce speed and otherwise make conditions safer for nonmotorists.

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Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today

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