July 20, 2020

North American SUVs a No Go in Brexit Britain

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It’s no secret that while over 60 percent of North American vehicle purchases are for SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicles) or trucks there has been a 46 percent rise in pedestrian deaths directly attributable to these larger vehicles on the road.

Between 2009 to 2016 single vehicle crashes involving  SUVs striking pedestrians increased 81 percent, more than any other type of vehicle.

SUVs with the high front end grille are twice as likely to kill pedestrians because of the high engine profile. This information has not been well publicized. Indeed in  the United States a federal initiative to include pedestrian crash survival rates into the vehicle ranking system was halted by opposing automakers.

As Great Britain negotiates a new transatlantic trade agreement the lack of oversight on SUVs and the spike in pedestrian injuries and deaths in United States  road crashes has meant that the vehicles must meet British standards.

As the BBC reports,  the  British Parliamentary Advisory Committee on Transport Safety has written to the Trade Secretary saying: “We are concerned that pressure for lower safety standards will be applied in negotiations regarding the automotive sector.US vehicle safety standards are much lower than those permitted for vehicles sold in the UK.”

The president of the Global New Car Assessment Program,  David Ward, was even blunter.“US crash standards are much lower for pedestrians… we simply can’t let American vehicles into the UK if they don’t meet our standards.”

In Europe Ford has publicly stated that they will not bring vehicles into the continent that do not meet European and British regulations.  If they did, crash barriers that are designed for the continent’s standard vehicles would have to be upgraded for the larger American style SUV.

It’s no surprise that Matt Blunt, president of the American Automotive Policy Council, tried a positive spin in saying that the safety standards that are used in the United States would be equivalent to those used in Europe and Great Britain.

What appears to be needed is a design change  according to the  Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Their senior research engineer Becky Mueller states:
Our findings provide more evidence that manufacturers need to make design changes to help combat the increase in pedestrian fatalities now that more of the vehicles on the road are SUVs.”

main-top-5-suvImages: News18, Lorento.com

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