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An Attorney Explains How Vehicle Technology Can Protect Pedestrians

Costa Mesa Car Accident LawyerIn 2018, California had the largest number of pedestrian fatalities in the nation at a total of 432. In fact, California was among five states - with Arizona, Florida, Georgia, and Texas - having 46 percent of pedestrian deaths in the nation.

Nationally, pedestrian deaths have reached a record high since 1990 with approximately 6,227 lives lost - which marks a 45 percent increase.

In order to mitigate this growing problem, safety innovators have been introducing new features that have the potential to save lives.

Braking technology standard with new vehicles

Automatic emergency braking is a safety feature in many new vehicles. Equipped with this feature, vehicles use camera algorithms to identify pedestrians, bicyclists, and animals. Once a potential collision is detected, the system will either alert the driver or automatically apply the brakes.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) evaluated several 2018-19 model year vehicles and assigned them one of three ratings for pedestrian detection - basic, advanced, and superior. The tests were conducted using dummies in three different crash scenarios.

In the first scenario, the figure of an adult pedestrian entered the road from the right - directly in the path of the oncoming vehicle.

In the second test, the figure of a child emerged onto the road from behind two parked vehicles.

In the third scenario, the figure of an adult pedestrian moved along the side of the road while facing away from oncoming traffic.

For all three scenarios, the vehicles were rated on average speed reduction in five consecutive test runs on dry pavement. Researchers administered the tests at 12 mph and 25 mph in scenarios involving adult and child pedestrians traveling in a perpendicular direction, and at 25 and 37 mph in scenarios involving adult pedestrians traveling in a parallel direction.

Out of all the scenarios, the child pedestrian test proved to be the most difficult, as it would be in real life. The two parked cars obstructed the ability for the camera to detect the 45-inch-tall dummy. Once the dummy was in the direct path of traffic, the test vehicle only had roughly two seconds and 35 feet to stop.

Nine out of 11 small SUVs earned an advanced or superior rating for preventing pedestrian accidents. Those that received a superior rating demonstrated speed reduction in every scenario. The vehicles with the highest ratings included the 2018-19 Honda CR-V, 2019 Subaru Forester, 2019 Toyota RAV4 and 2019 Volvo XC40. The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander received a basic rating. The 2018-19 BMW X1 failed to rate, indicating inferior pedestrian detection.

An attorney representing injured pedestrians

Unlike drivers of passenger vehicles, pedestrians aren't afforded the protections of seatbelts, airbags, and vehicle frames. They face a much greater risk of sustaining serious and life-threatening injuries when struck by motor vehicles.

If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, your injuries could be severe - enough to keep you out of work or away from enjoyable activities for a long time. Your medical expenses and lost wages could wreak financial havoc on your life.

That's why you need the advocacy of an experienced Orange County pedestrian accident attorney who will fight to maximize your compensation. Put your trust in the Law Offices of Daniel C. Carlton. Contact us today to discuss your legal options.

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Dan Carlton and his team are dedicated, down-to-earth, compassionate personal injury attorneys committed to helping victims of traffic accidents, personal injuries, dog bites and more. Serving Los Angeles and the entire Orange County area, including Anaheim, Tustin, Irvine, Garden Grove and Santa Ana, for over 40 years, we have handled thousands of cases.

Daniel C. Carlton