Impact of Sport Utility Vehicles on traffic safety and the environment in the Netherlands. On behalf of the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management, Directorate-General for Passenger Transport (DGP).

Hoogvelt, R.B.J. Vries, Y.W.R. de Margarites, D. Tillaart, E. van den Burgwal, H.C. van de & Willemsen, E.

In this study, the traffic safety impact of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) is investigated using the Dutch National Accident Database and the TNO Automotive In-depth Accident Database. Accidents are analysed with one or more SUVs involved. It can be concluded that SUVs are significantly more aggressive against vulnerable road users. Problems with SUV crashes to other vehicles on the road are related amongst others to compatibility, except for commercial vehicles. However, in the study no difference is found between heavy passenger cars and SUVs. SUVs are about as heavy as the average full-size passenger car. So the same mass difference occurs within passenger car classes (for example, full-size and small cars). Although the bumper height is about 20% higher compared to passenger cars, this difference could not directly be related to an increase in injury severity in the study due to the lack of data. Nevertheless, based on accident pictures in the study and other investigations, it is believed that mass, frontal stiffness and geometry factors play a role in the compatibility between SUVs and other road users. Recommendations made related to traffic safety are divided into design recommendations and recommendations to improve traffic safety analyses. The impact of SUVs on the Dutch environment is studied as well, and results from the cumulative value of exhaust gas emissions and fuel consumption. Due to the lack of sufficient, statistically significant and accountable information, it is not possible to draw general and reliable conclusions on the impact of SUVs with respect to the Dutch environment.

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C 34759 [electronic version only] /91 /15 / ITRD E208669

Delft, TNO Automotive, 2004, 76 p. + app., 30 ref.; 04.OR.SA.065.1/RH

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