Current research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has found that new trends in car design could be contributing to an increase in pedestrian fatalities in car crashes, even with innovative new safety features rolled out by car manufacturers.
If you’re in a car collision and you suspect poor car design could have played a role in your crash or your injuries, you’ll want to get the facts. You can find out more by speaking with a Hollywood car accident attorney at Flaxman Law Group. Our offices in Miami, Hollywood, and Homestead offer a free consultation if you’ve been injured.
The Latest Research About Car Design and Car Collisions
According to research recently published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, cars in the U.S. are getting larger, with blunt profiles and higher front ends. According to the research, these design features are 45% more likely to cause fatal pedestrian accidents when compared with smaller vehicles.
The higher design of the cars and the more blunted fronts tends to hit pedestrians higher in the chest area. This causes pedestrians to fall over and down, which increases the risk of life-threatening head injuries and also situations where a car runs over the pedestrian after knocking them down.
Some pickup trucks, especially, have front ends that reach 55 inches. This creates an additional blind spot for drivers, making it easy for them to miss children and wheelchair users, especially, which can increase the likelihood of an accident. In the past 30 years, the average vehicle in this country has gotten 1,000 pounds heavier, 10 inches longer, and 4 inches wider. The larger profile creates more blind spots while the heavier weight can increase the force of a crash.
This is especially a concern because researchers point out that pedestrian fatalities across the country are at a four-decade high. Since 2009, pedestrian fatalities have increased over 80%. In addition, Florida often ranks among the least safe states for pedestrians.
It’s important to note that researchers agree that pedestrian deaths are a multi-factor problem. Road design, higher speed limits, and distracted pedestrians can also be contributing to the fatalities.
How to Stay Safe
If you’re a driver, be aware of your car’s blind spots and consider using assistive technology, such as sensors and cameras, to stay aware of people around your vehicle. If you’re a pedestrian, there are several things you can do to stay safer:
- Always cross at crosswalks and intersections where drivers expect to see you.
- Use sidewalks where possible and walk towards traffic if you must walk along a shoulder.
- Make eye contact with drivers when you cross the street, to make sure drivers can see you.
- Stay sober and distraction-free when walking, so you can be alert for any dangers.
- Wear highly visible clothing and use reflective clothing in bad weather and in the evenings or early mornings.
If you’re a driver in Southern Florida and have been in an accident you believe may have been caused by your car’s design, call Flaxman Law Group. Similarly, if you’re a pedestrian who has been injured, call us at 866-352-9626 to speak or contact us online. You can even email accident attorney Charles Flaxman at cFlaxman@Flaxmanlaw.com. Our family-based legal team can set up a consultation for you with a Hollywood car accident attorney on our team to review any options you might have to seek compensation for your injuries and losses.