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Fact sheet

Impacts of SUVs on safety

Published on 

Studies show that the heavier the vehicle, the greater the risk of being involved in a collision. In fact, SUVs are involved in twice as many accidents involving pedestrians than cars. Also, accidents caused by SUVs are 28% more fatal for the other drivers involved.

More dangerous for pedestrians

Large vehicles also place pedestrians at greater risk. In Quebec, a greater proportion of pedestrians are seriously injured when an SUV is involved in a crash (10.6%) than when there are no light trucks involved (6.7%). Individuals struck by vans are twice as likely to succumb to collision-related injuries than those struck by other types of vehicles.

The severity of the injuries inflicted is due to the design of the vehicles and the height of certain components (such as headlights, grills and bumpers). In a collision, an SUV is more likely to project a pedestrian forward than a car, resulting in an increased risk of hip and leg injuries. The danger is even greater for children.

More dangerous also for the driver of the SUV

While they may appear to be better protected, drivers of light-duty trucks are not immune from injury: SUVs and vans are notorious for rolling over in the event of a collision or loss of control. The risk of ejection is also much greater, as is the fatality rate in rollover accidents.


Synthesis Report

LES CAMIONS LÉGERS Impacts de la transformation du parc de véhicules légers au Québec, Polytechnique Chair of Mobility, 2021 (part of the Équiterre research)