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The CURA publications library is currently being digitized by the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy. When the project is complete, the entire CURA publications library will be online and fully searchable. Unfortunately, during this process we are not able to honor individual requests for publications . Additionally, we no longer have physical copies of publications to send out.

New publications are digitized daily and the publications catalog on the CURA website is not automatically updated with links to scanned copies, so please search the CURA collection at the Digital Conservancy for the publications you are looking for:

Trucks and SUVs in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area: How Dangerous Are They?

Karaca-Mandic, Pinar and Jinhyung Lee.

Light or heavy trucks and sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) are increasingly popular, in part because they provide improved protection to their own passengers in an accident. However, when an accident occurs, these vehicles also cause greater injury to passengers of other vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. Because the costs of these injuries are external costs in no-fault auto-liability systems such as those used in Minnesota, consumers may have inefficiently high incentives to purchase light/heavy trucks and SUVs. This study investigated the extent of injury costs associated with light/heavy trucks and SUVs in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. We estimated the relationship between the type of vehicle in accidents involving one light/heavy truck or SUV and one standard passenger car and the level of vehicle damage caused, the likelihood of hospital admissions resulting from the accident, and the hospital charges for those hospitalized from the accident. The analysis showed that the likelihood of hospital admission was highest for occupants of standard cars and lowest for occupants of light/heavy trucks or SUVs. For accidents involving hospitalization, occupants of standard cars also incurred higher hospitalization charges on average compared with occupants of light/heavy trucks or SUVs. These findings suggest that light/heavy trucks and SUVs benefit their occupants in terms of the likelihood of a hospital admission and hospital charges stemming from an accident, but do so at the expense of standard-car occupants. We suggest several policy changes that would internalize the costs that light/heavy trucks and SUVs impose on occupants of other vehicles and pedestrians, and would lead to a more optimal mix of vehicle types in the nation’s vehicle fleet. The research upon which this article is based was supported by a grant from CURA’s Faculty Interactive Research Program.

CURA Reporter
Publication date: 
Minneapolis: Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, University of Minnesota.
The research upon which this article is based was supported by a grant from CURA’s Faculty Interactive Research Program.
42 (1): 27-31
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Reporter 42 (1)