Death on foot: America's love of SUVs is killing pedestrians, regulators doing little about it, investigation show | Detroit Free Press

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A growing danger for America’s most vulnerable road users: Death by SUV.

A Detroit Free Press/USA TODAY NETWORK investigation found that the SUV revolution is a key, leading cause of escalating pedestrian deaths nationwide, which are up 46 percent since 2009.

Almost 6,000 pedestrians died on or along U.S. roads in 2016 alone — nearly as many Americans as have died in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002. Data analyses by the Free Press/USA TODAY and others show that SUVs are the constant in the increase and account for a steadily growing proportion of deaths.

Our investigation found:

Federal safety regulators have known for years that SUVs, with their higher front-end profile, are at least twice as likely as cars to kill the walkers, joggers and children they hit, yet have done little to reduce deaths or publicize the danger.

A federal proposal to factor pedestrians into vehicle safety ratings has stalled, with opposition from some automakers.

The rising tide of pedestrian deaths is primarily an urban plague that kills minorities at a disproportionate rate.

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