Cyclist and Pedestrian Deaths IncreaseAugust 6, 2019
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there was a 10 percent increase in the number of bicyclists killed last year, and the number of pedestrian deaths increased by four percent. These statistics suggest that, while today’s cars are safer than ever for the occupants of the vehicle, they still pose a significant danger to pedestrians and cyclists. Efforts to improve safety for walkers and bikers have proceeded much more slowly compared to the improvements made to motor vehicles.
Pedestrian and bicycle detection technology does exist, and some automakers have included this technology as part of their automatic braking systems. However, only a small percentage of automakers have done so, despite its potential to save lives. The vice president for advocacy for Consumer Reports commented that U.S. automakers have not done enough to address pedestrian safety, and that European regulators have been much more proactive about enforcing pedestrian safety regulations.
Possible Causes of Spike in Fatalities
Safety experts suggest that the rise in pedestrian and cyclist fatalities is associated with distracted driving, which continues to be a serious problem. Too many drivers talk on the phone, send and receive text messages, or check social media, which means their attention is off the road, putting pedestrians and cyclists at risk of being hit. Safety experts also point to the growing popularity of SUVs, which are much more fatal than smaller passenger vehicles because they are larger and have a higher center of gravity. Instead of being pushed into the hood or windshield in an accident, the SUV hits the victims directly.
A group of automakers agreed to equip all models with automatic emergency braking by 2022. Advocates believe that vehicles should be equipped with potentially lifesaving pedestrian and bicyclist detection technology. Emergency braking that is in most cars today only prevent damage to other vehicles and the passengers inside.
Starting in 2020, automakers who hope to earn the prestigious rating of Top Safety Pick Plus must have a high-functioning pedestrian detection system as standard equipment. According to estimates from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, this could prevent approximately 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries by 2025. Major car companies like Volvo, Toyota, and Subaru are making improvements to their technology. Subaru’s EyeSight safety system, which comes standard on certain models, was found to reduce pedestrian crash claims by 35 percent. Toyota offers pedestrian protection in 20 of its models, but only offers bicycle detection on the hatchback and hybrid versions of the Corolla.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Bicyclists and Pedestrians Injured in Car Accidents
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident while walking or riding a bike, you are urged to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We understand how traumatic these accidents can be and we will work tirelessly to secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. We will not stop fighting for you until justice has been served. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.