In a bicycle vs. vehicle crash, cyclists typically suffer more serious injuries than those in the vehicle. When that vehicle is an SUV, the injuries are often significantly worse – and too often, fatal.
That might seem obvious since SUVs are larger and heavier than cars. However, there are reasons beyond their size that make it more dangerous for cyclists to share the roads with SUVs. Understanding what these are can help everyone stay safe.
Injuries 55% more serious
In a recently published study, researchers found that cyclists who were in collisions with SUVs suffered injuries that were 55% more serious than those hit by cars. When head injuries alone were compared, it was worse. They were 63% more serious when a cyclist was struck by an SUV than a smaller vehicle.
The injuries were measured using a scale that grades the severity of all kinds of injuries. Further, while SUVs are involved in about 15% of all collisions with cyclists and pedestrians, they account for a quarter of cyclist/pedestrian fatalities.
The reasons go beyond size and weight
So, besides the obvious size difference, what makes a collision with an SUV potentially more serious for the cyclist? For one thing, when an SUV hits a cyclist, they’re more likely to fall over rather than roll up onto the hood or even the roof, which is more common when struck by a car. In some cases, they even run right over them after they fall. These falls on a paved road can be particularly dangerous, especially if someone strikes their head.
SUVs present some other added dangers to cyclists on the road. For example, they have larger blind spots, especially when making turns. Also, because their headlights are higher, they’re more likely to blind cyclists traveling in the opposite direction.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a collision with an SUV, you may be looking at months or even years of financial losses to cover the cost of medical care, rehabilitation, lost wages and more. It’s crucial not to agree to a quick settlement to get the money you need now because you could be giving up the compensation you’ll need later. After a serious crash, it can make all the difference in your financial future to have experienced legal guidance.