Federal officials announced this month that 2018 saw the highest number of pedestrian accident fatalities since 1990. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 6,300 pedestrians died in the 2018. While collision-avoidance systems on many new cars might help reduce that toll, there are a number of significant differences in how well they work, The New York Times reports. These systems scan the road ahead for the driver, with cameras, lasers or radar. If the vehicle’s systems detect a pedestrian, the computer can issue a warning and apply the brakes, thereby helping prevent the collision.
How the Vehicles Fared
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) recently tested vehicles that have these types of systems to see how effective they are. The tests, conducted on 16 midsize sedans, found a wide range of abilities among the systems. Some cars came to a stop before the pedestrian dummy was hit. But, others were slower to react. In one case, the vehicle failed to reduce its speed in time to avoid a collision with a child dummy.
These test results were announced a week after NHTSA said pedestrian deaths in 2018 increased 3.4 percent over 2017. These results also came right before Halloween, one of the deadliest days of the year for pedestrians. The researchers at IIHS also found that the new collision avoidance systems worked best in daylight. The institute based its ratings on how much each vehicle was able to reduce its speed in three different scenarios.
In the first one, the test simulated an adult walking into the street as a vehicle approaches at 12 and then 25 mph. In this case, there are no parked vehicles or signs obstructing the vision of the pedestrian. The second scenario involves a child running into the street from behind parked cars as a vehicle approaches at 12 and then 25 mph. The final one involved an adult walking along a road, facing away from traffic as the vehicle approaches at 25 and then 37 mph.
Six of the 16 vehicles got a “superior” rating – 2019 Audi A4, 2019-20 BMW 3 Series, 2019-20 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, 2019-20 Nissan Maxima, 2020 Subaru Outback and the 2019 Volvo S60. Researchers said the Nissan Maxima was the top performer as it avoided hitting the pedestrian in each test.
Tips for Drivers
As we approach Halloween, the time change and the holidays, it is important for drivers to remember these important safety tips, especially when it comes to pedestrian safety:
• Do not drive while distracted or impaired. Focus your attention on the road.
• Always stop and yield to pedestrians, whether or not they have the right the way.
• Never exceed the speed limit. Pay particular attention in school zones or residential areas where children may be present.
• Try to make eye contact with pedestrians so you know they’ve seen you.
• Don’t drive around a vehicle that stops suddenly in front of you. The vehicle might have stopped for a pedestrian.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
Injured pedestrian accident victims will able to seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. It is important to remember that pedestrian accident victims may be able to seek compensation for injuries or losses in a collision even if they were not walking in a marked crosswalk.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, or if you have lost a loved one in an auto accident caused by a negligent (careless) driver, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
For over 48 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims get fair compensation for their losses. Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
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