SUVS should be banned from cities to help protect pedestrians and cyclists, safety experts have urged.
The European Transport Safety Council has called on local authorities to prohibit SUV motors to help reduce the number of fatal accidents on the road.
Recent figures from the safety body revealed more than 51,000 pedestrians and around 20,000 cyclists were killed on EU roads between 2010 and 2018.
Shockingly, the number of fatal accidents involving cyclists declined eight times slower than vehicle occupant fatalities.
The risk of severe injury or death is much higher in crashes with SUVs and vans compared to smaller passenger models, according to ETSC.
This is because SUVs are heavier, have higher bumpers and stiffer.
SUVs have quickly become a favourite with families in the UK, with one in three all new vehicles sold being a four-wheel drive.
According to the safety body, SUVs should undergo similar restrictions to older vehicles with higher emissions.
They have also recommended a 18mph speed limit should be imposed across the EU, with walkers and cyclist given priority over cars.
Graziella Jost, projects director at the European Transport Safety Council, said: “The EU is facing a multitude of challenges: the climate emergency; road deaths and serious injuries; air pollution and obesity.
“Policies that improve the safety of cycling and walking can also make a major contribution to tackling all these challenges.
“Some EU countries, the Netherlands and Denmark in particular, are showing the way forward.
“If they can do it, so can the rest of the EU.”
A string of councils across the UK have begun implementing bans on cars to help reduce traffic and air pollution.
Brighton Council and Birmingham Council recently proposed a ban on private vehicles from its town centres.
York councillors also backed a motion to ban private car journeys in its city centre, while Bristol City Council voted to prohibit all diesel vehicles from a central area between 7am and 3pm.