Photograph showing minor contact damage (arrow) to left front bumper of SUV.

​Photograph showing minor contact damage (arrow) to left front bumper of SUV.​​

Fatal Pedestrian Collision with Sport Utility Vehicle

What Happened

​​About 3:40 p.m. on Wednesday, May 18, 2016, a 2012 Jeep Wrangler sport utility vehicle (SUV) was making a left turn from the left-turn lane on southbound Glen Carlyn Drive onto eastbound Leesburg Pike (State Route 7) in Falls Church, Virginia. The SUV had a green left-turn arrow and was the first vehicle in a queue. As the 51-year-old male driver turned, a 71-year-old male pedestrian tried to cross Leesburg Pike from south to north, in front of the turning vehicle. According to a witness, the pedestrian was outside the crosswalk, the traffic signal facing him was red, and the pedestrian control signal indicated not to walk.

The driver steered right in an effort to go behind the pedestrian, but the left front corner of the vehicle struck him. The pedestrian was thrown to the ground and run over by the SUV’s left tires. After the collision, the driver steered off the roadway, over the curb, and onto the grass next to the curb. (No skid marks were found, but the SUV’s tire tracks went from the curb onto the grass.) The pedestrian came to rest in the right eastbound lane of Leesburg Pike near the curb, approximately 15 feet from the point of impact (figure 1). The temperature at the time of the accident was 66°F, winds were variable at 5.8 mph, and skies were overcast.

What We Found

​The probable cause of the crash in Falls Church, Virginia, was a combination of the pedestrian’s attempt to cross a busy multilane arterial roadway outside the crosswalk, while the pedestrian control signal indicated not to walk, and the driver’s failure, while executing a left turn, to enter the leftmost lane of the roadway being entered.​