Sports utility vehicles (SUVs for short) are an increasingly popular type of car, which many drivers favour because they are practical and their extra size, weight and headroom feels safer. Many SUV drivers also prefer being positioned higher, with a better view of the road ahead.
However, a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an American non-profit organisation, has highlighted that the higher front end of SUVs can risk the safety of cyclists.
SUVs and cycling dangers
When a cyclist is hit by a car, they may be thrown into the air or roll onto the car bonnet. Although this can cause serious injuries, the impact often moves them away from the path of the car, and only results in one set of injuries.
However, because SUVs are typically taller, a cyclist is more likely to be hit above their centre of gravity. This means a higher chance of being thrown to the ground and potentially run over after the initial impact, leading to further injuries caused by the car’s wheels or undercarriage.
According to the study, a cyclist’s injuries are also likely to be more severe after a crash involving an SUV. After examining 71 road traffic accidents involving cyclists and SUVs, researchers found that the risk of head injuries was 63% higher, and serious bodily trauma 55% higher.
Making an SUV accident compensation claim
Claire Sagala is a specialist personal injury solicitor based in Novum Law’s Swindon team, with experience of supporting victims of serious road traffic accidents and cycling accidents. She says:
“There’s no reason why drivers of sports utility vehicles can’t coexist happily with cyclists on our roads, and the last thing we want to do is demonise SUV drivers.
“However, it’s vital to be aware of the potential risks SUVs can cause, and the need to take extra precautions.
“SUV drivers and cyclists alike should also stick to the Highway Code rules to ensure the possibility of a cycling or road traffic accident is as low as possible.
“If you are a cyclist and have been injured in an accident involving a SUV that was not your fault, you might be entitled to compensation, which can go towards covering any care and support you need, as well as covering any damage to your bike or lost earnings as a result of your accident.
“We urge you to contact a specialist personal injury law firm as soon as possible, to discuss making a claim. Don’t leave it too late – you usually have 3 years from the date of your accident to begin court proceedings.”
If you or a loved one has been involved in a road traffic accident that was not your fault, you can contact Novum Law’s expert team of personal injury solicitors for a free, no-obligation chat about how we can help you make a claim on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis.
Call us today on our Freephone on 0800 884 0777, email email@example.com, or complete our online enquiry form.