She blames Toyota drivers for pedestrian deaths, not ‘better-trained’ SUV drivers: Roadshow

Q: I know that you probably won’t print this because you used to drive a Prius and are biased, but here goes anyway.

It’s not SUV drivers who are clueless. It’s clueless readers who drive cheap foreign little cars. Most of them are indeed clueless, unsafe and totally uninformed drivers. People who drive SUVs are far better trained, faster-thinking, and cause far fewer accidents than drivers of cars, especially Toyotas.

According to the articles that I have read regarding crashes involving pedestrians, 85% of the deaths in this area were caused by drivers in Toyota sedans, including Prius and Lexus drivers. Not SUVs. Look it up.

Diane Gaskill

A: I have looked it up, and the most recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that the rise in pedestrian deaths can be linked to oversized SUVs, vans, Ford F-150 trucks and other pickups with design features including large frontal surfaces that make them more dangerous for pedestrians and those in smaller cars.

SUVs contributed to the 81% increase in pedestrian fatalities between 2009 and 2018, and roads are deadlier for bikers and pedestrians than they have been in 30 years.

The new IIHS study is  the first look at late-model SUVs, which have adopted more car-like designs. The study found that low-speed crashes — less than 20 mph — were similar for SUVs and cars, but higher-speed crashes resulted in pedestrian fatalities more often when the striking vehicle was an SUV.

Q: It’s no wonder that police are overwhelmed with scofflaws speeding, racing, sideshows, auto theft and break-ins. TV ads show people doing the dumbest illegal things on or off-road with a new car! Who drives like that?

Auto manufacturers and Madison Avenue are out of control. I seldom see them advertising a new efficient engine, smoother transmission, better brakes, etc.

Ben Mcray

A: I never have seen a Prius in one of those commercials.

Q: Why do you say having more cops on the street is not going to happen? When I was a teenager, there were traffic officers everywhere. In retrospect, that was a really good thing because it not only discouraged speeding and other unsafe driving, it also surely deterred other crime.

What do we need to do to get the city to stop wasting money inventing 10 different marking approaches for empty bike lanes and spend a bit more on common-sense law enforcement?

Doug Owens, San Jose

A: There just aren’t enough cops now to patrol all streets where speeding and reckless driving is a problem.  And police cannot be on the street 24 hours a day.

Join Gary Richards for an hourlong chat noon Wednesday at Look for Gary Richards at, or contact him at or 408-920-5335.






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Author: Gary Richards

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