It’s not uncommon for car accidents in Hollywood to happen because a driver pressed the accelerator instead of the brake by accident. While this seems like an unlikely mistake—the pedals are in different positions—it does commonly happen and it causes serious injuries when it does.
If you’ve been injured because another driver negligently sped up instead of stopping at an intersection or anywhere else on the road, you may have a claim. Florida law may allow you to seek compensation to cover your lost wages, car repair bills, hospital and medical treatment costs, and more. However, you may not get the full amount you’re entitled to just by filing an insurance claim. To find out more, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation with a Hollywood car accident claims lawyer.
What Does the Data Say About Pedal Mistakes and Car Accidents?
More research needs to be done, because there isn’t a lot of data. However, there are a few small studies suggesting that pedal mistakes could be an overlooked problem on the road.
For example, researchers at the Highway Safety Research Center and the University of North Carolina teamed up and concluded that about 44 car collisions daily, or about 16,000 accidents across the country each year, happen because of pedal error. This number is based on police reports where motorists claimed they mistook the pedals. Researchers in the study believe the actual number of pedal error accidents could be much higher because minor, unreported car accidents are not included in the study.
Researchers found that 77% of these collisions happened in parking lots. Highway exit ramps and intersections are also common sites of pedal mistake collisions. These crashes were commonly caused by:
- Car designs that placed the pedals closely together.
- Transition mistakes when drivers move between the brake and gas pedal.
- Distracted driving.
- Car design issues that make it harder for shorter or much taller people to comfortably reach or transition between pedals.
- Poor driver motor control.
- Driver cognitive impairment.
- Fatigued driving.
- Foot slippage, which can be more of a risk with certain kinds of footwear (especially flip-flops, high heels, or wide shoes).
The challenge with pedal mistake accidents is that they can cause serious injuries. Let’s take the example of an intersection. If a driver is waiting to cross and a driver mistakes the brake pedal for the gas pedal, they will accelerate instead of stopping. The increased force will mean the car pushes into the pedestrian with enough force to cause serious and potentially life-threatening injuries.
We all have an obligation to make sure we don’t mistake pedals. Here’s what all drivers can do:
- Wear sturdy shoes with goods treads. Make sure your shoes can’t easily slip off your feet.
- Only drive when you’re rested, focused, and physically and mentally fit enough to pay close attention to safety.
- Have your car maintained regularly so your brakes and other essential car systems work well.
- When you’re renting a car or driving a new car, take some time to set up the seats comfortably and get familiar with the brakes and all the controls before you head out on the road.
- When buying a car, look for a design that has well spaced brake and gas pedals. Adjust the car to make sure you can reach and transition between the pedals easily.
Pedal mistakes are considered a preventable error. Drivers on the road are expected to know the difference between the accelerator and brake and must drive safely. When they don’t, you can hold them accountable for the injuries they cause you and you may be able to seek compensation for the expenses you face because of your injuries.
Have you been injured by a negligent driver? Are you ready to learn more about your rights and any options for compensation? Don’t hesitate. Reach out to arrange a free consultation with Flaxman Law Group. Just dial 866-352-9626 or contact us online to set up a free consultation with a Hollywood car accident claims attorney. Flaxman Law Group is a family-based law firm with a compassionate, thorough approach to the cases we take on. We work with injury survivors across South Florida and we’ve already recovered over $100 million for our clients.