In 2020, more than 900 cyclists died in motor vehicle accidents. In part, this 48% increase from 2010 is the result of increased bicycle traffic on the road.
However, SUVs pose a greater threat to cyclists than cars. This is what you should know.
SUVs may have reduced visibility
High vehicles may have difficulty seeing pedestrians and cyclists. The drivers in these vehicles have blind spots for individuals that fall below the hood. In addition, drivers may have difficulty judging the distance between them and cyclists due to their larger bumpers and extended hoods.
SUVs have a higher impact point
SUVs have taller front ends than cars, which raises the point of impact on the cyclist. In addition, when a car hits someone on a bicycle, the person typically rolls or faults over the hood. However, SUVs knock cyclists down rather than pushing them up. This causes additional injuries when the rider hits the ground. Although lower extremity injuries were common across all impacts, SUV crashes had an increased number and severity of head, spine, abdomen and upper limb injuries.
SUVs can run over cyclists
Because they knock cyclists down, SUVs place them in a vulnerable position on the ground, where they can get run over. Not only do they tend to have larger tires, but their bumpers are higher off the ground than small cars.
SUVs are heavier
The increased weight of an SUV makes impacts more dangerous. They are more difficult to stop quickly, and their impact is much harder due to their weight.
Although many advocate for auto manufacturers to implement additional safety features in their vehicles, not all SUVs have this equipment. Therefore, carefully watch for tall vehicles and do what you can to ensure that they see you when you share the road with them.