Airbags, safety belts, traction control, anti-lock brakes, back-up cameras, traffic sensors… It seems with each new car model year there are new safety features to protect the driver and the passengers of cars and trucks. What if vehicles could also be built with protection for pedestrians in mind?
More than 4,000 pedestrians are killed and over 70,000 injured each year from being hit by cars or trucks.
But there is a bit of good news… a few car companies are beginning to factor pedestrian safety into vehicle design.
When a pedestrian is hit by a car, they are often thrown onto the hood of the car and into the windshield wipers and the windshield – resulting in serious injury or death. Federal regulators are considering creating incentives to encourage car makers to build pedestrian safety measures into their cars. To date – both Honda and Volvo have begun to make progress in this area voluntarily.
Both car companies are beginning to build cars with breakaway wiper systems (wiper blades have been known to literally impale pedestrians), space between the hood and the engine to absorb impacts better, and even exterior air bags to keep heads from striking the windshield from the outside.
Some auto trade groups are fighting the changes, saying that consumers are reluctant to pay for safety features that protect them inside the car – let alone pedestrians on the outside. U.S. car makers have tended to focus more on technology that would prevent pedestrian – car collisions in the first place – using motion and infra-red sensor technology to warn drivers of the presence of pedestrians.
Earlier this year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission proposed a rule requiring electric and hybrid-electric cars to emit sounds to warn and protect bicyclists and pedestrians, particularly the visually impaired. The NHTSA is also considering adding pedestrian safety features to its five-star safety rating system in the hope that car makers will find that an incentive to build in these pedestrian safety features. As similar tactic was employed with some success to get car makers to begin installing back-up cameras on their vehicles.
If you or a loved one are ever struck by a careless driver in Connecticut while walking or riding your bike, it is important to gather all the information you can and then call a qualified Connecticut personal injury lawyer. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can help to ensure that your rights are protected.
RisCassi & Davis has handled thousands of injury cases in Connecticut over our more than 55 years serving the people of this state. Our Connecticut personal injury lawyers have received significant local and national recognition for our handling of injury cases including:
- Top listing in “The Best Lawyers in America” and “Best Law Firms” and much more (for more on our honors and awards, click here).
If you would like a free consultation with one of our accident lawyers, contact us today. There is no obligation of any kind.