The association between pedestrian crash types and passenger vehicle types

Hu, Wen / Cicchino, Jessica B.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
March 2022

Introduction: This is the first known study that examines the association between common pedestrian crash types and passenger vehicle types.
Method: The analysis included single-vehicle, single-pedestrian crashes from two data sets: North Carolina state crash data and the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). We performed separate multinomial logistic regression analyses of major pedestrian crash types occurring at or near intersections and at nonintersections.
Results: At or near intersections, minivans, large vans, pickups, and SUVs (collectively known as light truck vehicles, or LTVs) were more likely than cars to be involved in crossing-roadway–vehicle-turning-left crashes versus crossing-roadway–vehicle-not-turning crashes. LTVs were also more likely involved in fatal crossing-roadway–vehicle-turning-right crashes at or near intersections versus crossing-roadway–vehicle-not-turning crashes when compared with cars. At nonintersections, LTVs were associated with increased odds of walking-along-roadway crashes relative to crossing-roadway–vehicle-not-turning crashes when compared with cars.
Conclusions: LTVs were more likely to be involved in certain pedestrian crash types, implying a potentially problematic visibility of pedestrians near the front corners of these vehicles. Practical applications: More research is needed to examine A-pillar blind zones by vehicle type. If it is found that LTVs have larger blind zones, automakers should consider ways to design the A-pillars of these vehicles to minimize blind zones while maintaining pillar strength. Doing this could improve pedestrian safety around these increasingly popular larger vehicles.