Pedestrian Deaths and Large Vehicles

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Traffic fatalities in the US have been rising among pedestrians even as they fall among motorists. Contemporaneously, the US has undergone a significant shift in consumer preferences for motor vehicles, with larger Sport Utility Vehicles comprising an increased market share. Larger vehicles may pose a risk to pedestrians, increasing the severity of collisions. I use data covering all fatal vehicle collisions in the US and exploit heterogeneity in changing vehicle fleets across metros for identification. Between 2000 and 2018, I estimate that replacing the growth in Sport Utility Vehicles with cars would have averted 1,100 pedestrian deaths. The largest Sport Utility Vehicles appear particularly culpable for pedestrian deaths.

Published Version: Justin Tyndall, Pedestrian deaths and large vehicles, Economics of Transportation, Volumes 26–27, 2021, ISSN 2212-0122, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecotra.2021.100219

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