The Terrifying Blind Spot SUV And Pickup Drivers Need To Know About

As per new research, large vehicles such as SUVs, vans, and minivans are more prone to turning crashes that can often prove to be fatal for pedestrians. And that susceptibility to meet an accident when making turns can be blamed on well-known blind spots called A-pillars. For the unaware, these are usually made out of a strong alloy and act as the support system for the roof while connected to the vehicle's main body on either side. These pillars are wider than the B and C pillars, and that's because they need to provide a higher degree of crash protection and to meet safety standards.

However, their width also blocks the driver's vision, especially while taking a turn. But the more problematic part, as highlighted by the non-profit behind the latest study, is that a systematic assessment of the A-pillar design hasn't been conducted so far. These pillars are already problematic, but in the case of large vehicles such as SUVs, they only add to existing woes such as high ride heights and long front ends. The latter two are especially dangerous as they can totally block children from the driver's view and lead to accidents.

Big cars, bigger problems

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the odds of an SUV killing a pedestrian while making a left turn were twice as high as that of a car, and 63 percent higher when turning right. A 2020 study by the same non-profit found that SUVs are more likely to kill pedestrians than cars. And given their sheer size, injuries caused by them tend to be more severe. Another study published in the Economics of Transportation last year found that pedestrian deaths went up by 30 percent as the number of SUVs tripled in the country between 2000 and 2019.

Moreover, the experts behind the study estimated that replacing the growth in the SUV segment with regular cars could have avoided the death of over a thousand pedestrians. Another terrifying investigation by WTHR 13 in 2019 highlighted the issue of blind spots on large vehicles and how they have resulted in multiple casualties. During the investigation, a Cadillac Escalade driver couldn't spot 12 children sitting in a line in front of the car, while another driver in a Chevy Tahoe wasn't able to see a line of eight children from his line of sight.