RESEARCH PAPERS ARE PRELIMINARY MATERIALS CIRCULATED TO STIMULATE DISCUSSION AND CRITICAL COMMENT. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ARE THOSE OF THE INDIVIDUAL AUTHORS. WHILE RESEARCH PAPERS BENEFIT FROM ACTIVE UHERO DISCUSSION, THEY HAVE NOT UNDERGONE FORMAL ACADEMIC PEER REVIEW.
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.