Can Car Manufacturing Improvements Prevent Pedestrian Accidents?

Published on September 28th, 2018

pedestrian death thurswell lawEarlier this week, singer Gary Numan’s tour bus ran over and killed a 91-year-old pedestrian in Cleveland. The bus was making a right turn when it struck the man who was pushing a cart as he crossed the road. The elderly victim of this pedestrian accident was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police reported that the driver of the bus did not appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but this pedestrian accident is a horrific example of the dangers people on foot face every day. More preventive measures must be taken to protect pedestrians from the motorists around them, and established agencies are putting some of the blame on poor federal regulations.

Are Car Makers to Blame for Pedestrian Accidents?

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently released their findings that there has been a spike in pedestrian deaths on U.S. roads. These federal safety oversight officials report that updates to outdated regulations are essential to ensure that new cars and trucks are constructed with substantial improvements, including better, high-tech headlights.

The NTSB is focusing on making recommendations for the improvement of vehicle, regulatory, and infrastructure improvements for new vehicles. For example, federal rules to this point have blocked adaptive beam headlamps that are designed to automatically adjust to oncoming traffic. These lights, which are legal and common in Europe, reduce glare and help drivers see better, preventing auto accidents and pedestrian accidents.

Stunning Increase in Pedestrian Deaths

The number of people killed in motor vehicle crashes dropped 14 percent between the years of 2007 and 2016, and during that same time the number of pedestrians killed went up an astonishing 27 percent. Looking at the time between 2009 to 2016, the increase was even more horrifying – pedestrian deaths rose 46 percent to nearly 6,000 people.

The NTSB focused on lax federal regulations for car manufacturers, recommending that pedestrian safety be included in the new-car safety-rating system. Some of the biggest contributors to motorists colliding with pedestrians include:

  • SUV height and large front-end profiles.
  • Poorly designed headlight shapes.
  • Faulty installation of headlights affecting optimal performance.
  • Lack of safety technology.
  • Absence of pedestrian collision avoidance systems.

Contributors to Pedestrian Accidents

Though the NTSB did not offer any firm answers about why there has been such a spike in pedestrian deaths, it isn’t difficult to make some assumptions, including:

  • Distraction.
  • Dark streets.
  • Alcohol use.
  • Drug use.
  • Poorly designed roads.
  • Urbanization.
  • Jaywalking.

Pedestrian safety is a two-part affair. Pedestrians need to watch out for themselves – put the smartphone down while walking, pay attention to surroundings when crossing streets, follow crosswalk rules. But drivers are responsible for keeping an eye out for pedestrians, too.

Pedestrian accidents are preventable. Their occurrence can be considered negligence, whether on the part of the car manufacturer or motorist. When a pedestrian is killed by a motor vehicle, this can be ruled a wrongful death or be attributed to manufacturer negligence. If you have lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, contact Thurswell Law for a free consultation. We do not charge any fees unless you collect. Call (248) 354-2222 today to schedule your consultation.

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