Vehicles with especially tall front ends are most dangerous to pedestrians, but a blunt profile makes medium-height vehicles deadly too, according to new research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Whatever their nose shape, pickups, SUVs and vans with a hood height greater than 40 inches are about 45 percent more likely to cause fatalities in pedestrian crashes than cars and other vehicles with a hood height of 30 inches or less and a sloping profile, an IIHS study of nearly 18,000 pedestrian crashes found.
However, among vehicles with hood heights between 30 and 40 inches, researchers found a blunt, or more vertical, front end increases the risk to pedestrians.
âManufacturers can make vehicles less dangerous to pedestrians by lowering the front end of the hood and angling the grille and hood to create a sloped profile,â said IIHS Senior Research Transportation Engineer Wen Hu, the lead author of the study. âThereâs no functional benefit to these massive, blocky fronts.â