Car Accidents

Pedestrian Deaths in Car Accidents Rising

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Pedestrianafter five years of decline, pedestrian fatalities in car accidents rose by almost 4,300 people in 2010. That’s a 4% increase from 2009 and is forcing government officials to readdress how to protect joggers and walkers.  Pedestrians are especially vulnerable in cities and towns, with 75% of the pedestrian deaths occurring in urbanized areas.  More research is needed to conclude why pedestrian fatalities have suddenly gone up, but distractions like cell phone use, eating in the car, and selecting music to listen to while in the car are all thought to be contributing factors.

There will likely be a shift soon in the U.S.’s vehicle and traffic safety regulations to more closely reflect those seen in Europe and Asia. Currently, U.S. law requires vehicle bumpers to meet a high strength standard in order to avoid damages and costs in low-speed crashes. However, many are now calling for weaker bumpers in order to protect pedestrians. Many automakers are presently designing new crash-avoidance technologies that alert drivers of nearby pedestrians and even automatically stop the vehicle if pedestrians are seen as too close.

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