For many people in Indiana, walking, running or riding a bicycle is a standard part of their lives. Whether for exercise or basic transportation, these activities allow a person to get around without relying on motor vehicles. However, it seems that participating in these forms of exercise may prove hazardous to one’s health rather than beneficial to it. New statistics show that accident fatalities involving pedestrians and bicyclists are on the rise.

According to The Verge, the number of bicyclists killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2018 spiked by more than six percent over the previous year. Pedestrian deaths rose by 3.4% in the same time period. These increases were realized at a time when the total number of people killed in automobile crashes actually dropped. Distracted driving and vehicle size may well be two factors contributing to these sad realities.

The popularity of larger vehicles, like sport utility vehicles, may well put cyclists and pedestrians at an increased risk for death or serious injury as the height of SUVs makes it more possible for a person who has been hit to go under the vehicle and become trapped or ran over. Similarly, initial impact to a cyclist or a pedestrian may occur at the head versus the led, causing more extensive and more serious injuries.

Many new vehicles come equipped with technologies designed to detect pedestrians and automatically stop a vehicle if the human driver does not stop prior to hitting them. However, tests conducted by AAA show that these systems are all but completely ineffective during the dark hours and only moderately effective in broad daylight.