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Should Cars Be Rated Based On Pedestrian Safety?


When we look for new cars, we often pay close attention to their safety ratings, and the kind of safety features that the cars have in them. We want to know about survivability in case there is an accident, but also about how well the car actually helps us avoid accidents.

But despite the rating systems cars have for safety, and the amount of publicity that those systems get in the media, little attention has been paid to how safe a vehicle is at avoiding pedestrian accidents, or what kind of technology a car has for avoiding, or minimizing the severity of, pedestrian accidents.

Accidents Were More Common Despite 2020 Lockdowns

Pedestrian accidents are serious, and common. In fact, in 2020, a year that should have seen a decline in pedestrian deaths because of how few cars were on the road, 2020 actually saw an increase in pedestrian deaths.

There are a lot of theories as to why that is, but the fact remains that when you go to buy a new car, little attention is given to how safe the car is for pedestrians, or the systems the car uses for avoiding them.

New York Proposes a Rating System

Some states are trying to change that, by requiring that cars be rated on pedestrian safety. In New York, state legislators have proposed a new law that would score cars from 1-5, based on their pedestrian safety record and the systems cars use to avoid pedestrians. This would be very much like how the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration currently rates cars for overall crashworthiness.

The proposed new rating system would rate cars based on how much damage is done to the cars, and to the people hit, in pedestrian accidents. Legislators who support the bill note that many people buying cars are thinking of themselves, and not of the people outside their vehicle, like pedestrians or bicyclists.

Current Safety Features Don’t Help Pedestrians

Think that cars already have safety features and safety technology? They do. But don’t be fooled into thinking this technology helps reduce pedestrian accidents.

Many popular features, like lane keeping, front crash avoidance, or braking systems that may stop us from hitting the car in front of us, are poor or completely ineffective when it comes to detecting pedestrians, and avoiding them.

Some cars do have what is known as front crash protection, or pedestrian alert systems. However, these systems usually can’t stop a vehicle completely, although they often can slow the car down, minimizing the severity of the accident.

But despite their effectiveness, there are no laws that make these systems mandatory. Right now, what systems are offered, are often only offered as more expensive add-one to vehicle packages, leaving pedestrians and others on the road at high risk.

Contact the Miami personal injury attorneys at Velasquez & Associates P.A. today for help if you are in an accident of any kind.



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