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Pedestrian safety standards in vehicle accidents

On Behalf of | May 13, 2020 | Personal Injury Law |

In Florida and across the U.S., there are federal safety standards to protect drivers in a vehicle crash, but there are no standards designed to protect pedestrians when they get hit. In light of this fact, the Government Accountability Office, or GAO, is asking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to investigate this issue.

The goal of the GAO’s request is to have automakers test how likely it is that a pedestrian could be killed in a collision with a vehicle. At this time, vehicle manufacturers in the U.S. are only required to follow crash safety standards for people who are inside the vehicle. The international marketplace, however, has had pedestrian crash safety tests in existence since 2008.

The probability of death is 3.4 times greater when a pedestrian is in a collision with an SUV or truck versus a collision with a smaller passenger car. Over the last few years, SUVs and trucks have become increasingly popular, and fatalities in pedestrian and bicycle accidents have gone up 68% since 2008.

Unfortunately, the U.S. still leaves it up to auto manufacturers to decide if pedestrian safety systems should be included on vehicles, and these manufacturers have the option of charging extra for such features. As of the 2019 model year, only 47% of vehicle models offered pedestrian crash safety features, and 23% of these models offered the safety features as add-ons.

A pedestrian may want to file a personal injury claim after being involved in a collision with a vehicle. A personal injury lawyer may advise an individual of his or her rights and communicate with insurance companies and defense lawyers to negotiate a settlement that is fair for the injured pedestrian.