Our Chicago accident lawyers were not surprised to see that the number of fatal SUV accidents is on the rise.
Passenger vehicles, including SUVs, account for 19 out of every 20 traffic accidents in the United States, according to a new report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The report highlights that motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians are most likely to be injured in a Chicago accident involving a car. However, all types of passenger vehicle accidents have declined, except those involving SUVs, which continue to increase.
We know that more traffic brings with it the greater risk of an accident. While the economic downturn has played a role in temporarily reducing congestion, the overall number of vehicle registrations has increased 20 percent in the last decade. In addition to passenger cars, the government includes pickup trucks, vans and SUVs in its list of passenger vehicles.
In 2008, more than 10.1 million vehicles were involved in police-reported accidents and 94 percent of those, or about 9.5 million, were identified as passenger vehicles. In the past 10 years, light truck registration increased by 38 percent. Passenger car registrations increased by a more modest 10 percent.
The number of SUV registrations skyrocketed by 120 percent. This is significant because the occupants of smaller passenger cars are at greater risk of serious or fatal injury in an accident with an SUV. Likewise, the number of fatalities involving SUV occupants has also increased, from 3,026 in 1999 to 4,186 in 2008.
Rollover crashes are mostly to blame. Such crashes are among the deadliest and account for more than one-third of all traffic fatalities. Incidents were highest in SUVs, at 58 percent of all fatalities. Rollovers in pickups accounted for 48 percent of fatalities, followed by 35 percent for vans and 25 percent for passenger cars.
The number of fatalities involving other types of passenger vehicles has declined:
-Passenger vehicles: Fatalities have declined from 20,862 in 1999 to 14,587 in 2008.
-Light trucks: Fatalities have declined from 11,265 in 1999 to 10,764 in 2008.
-Pickup Trucks: Fatalities have declined from 6,127 in 1999 to 5,073 in 2008.
-Vans: Fatalities have declined from 2,088 in 1999 to 1,491 in 2008.
Injuries by type of passenger vehicle from 1999 to 2008:
-Passenger Vehicles (total): Declined from 3 million to 2 million.
-Passenger Cars: Declined from 2.1 million to 1.3 million.
-Light Trucks: Declined from 847,000 to 768,000.
-SUVs: Increased from 241,000 to 361,000.
-Pickup Trucks: Decreased from 372,000 to 250,000.
-Vans: Declined from 220,000 to 145,000.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential consultations. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.