What exacerbates injury and harm in car-SUV collisions?

Asad J. Khattak, Yingling Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Concern over collisions between passenger cars and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) is growing, as more SUVs enter the market. However, little is known about the different roles that car drivers and SUV drivers play in such collisions or about the roadway locations where the most harmful car-SUV collisions occur. This paper explores the effect of driver and roadway factors as they relate to physical and monetary harm. The analysis is based on a 3-year sample of crashes in the Crashworthiness Data System. A sample of 539 car-SUV collisions are analyzed, representing 402,306 weighted cases. The analysis of physical harm, based on the most severe injury, corroborates the analysis of monetary harm, which is based on costs incurred by all occupants. Cars and SUVs contribute different amounts to the average cost; the monetary harm to cars and their occupants is about twice as high as for SUVs, reflecting the mass differentials and incompatibility of the two vehicle platforms. Furthermore, higher monetary costs are associated with side-angle collisions occurring at intersections on undivided roadways. The most harmful maneuver involves left turning cars encroaching into oncoming traffic (SUV lane). Other risky situations and implications are discussed in the paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-104
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Transportation Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2008


  • Collisions
  • Injuries
  • Traffic accidents
  • Vehicles


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