New Research Shows That Pedestrian & Cyclist Deaths Due to Car Accidents Are On the Rise
According to a new report, even as car safety is improving for drivers, the number of deaths for cyclists and pedestrians has shot up. According to statistics, the number of bicyclists killed last year was the highest since 1988 and increased by 10 percent. Meanwhile, pedestrian deaths are at their highest since 1990, and increased by four percent. In addition, road traffic injuries are also now the single biggest killer for children and young adults. Most of these bicyclists and pedestrians are injured or killed while they are technically obeying the law.
Is This the Fault of Automakers?
There is no question that, even as automakers have filled cars with protective features for those inside of them, very little has emerged to protect bikers and pedestrians. Very few carmakers have included or offered bicycle and pedestrian detection as part of their automatic braking systems. Even though 20 automakers are planning to equip of car models by 2022, many believe it is time to go even further by requiring the detection systems, as existing emergency braking systems are designed to prevent damage to other vehicles instead of preventing collisions with cyclists and pedestrians. This is especially important, as distracted driving and SUVs on the road are on the rise; both of which can be extremely deadly to bicyclists and pedestrians.
The Potential Power Of Emergency Braking Systems
Meanwhile, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety plans to start requiring automakers to have high-functioning pedestrian detection systems as the standard in order to earn its top ratings starting in 2020. The Institute estimates that emergency braking will prevent close to 30,000 accidents and 12,000 injuries by 2025. In addition, some companies, such as Volvo, continue to improve their detection systems.
Other Additional Safety Options
Research also continues on other options, such as:
- Installing airbags on the front of cars to protect anyone who is hit;
- Engineering flexible fenders;
- Developing technology that would allow cars to communicate with one another concerning hazards; and
- Installing artificial intelligence in pedestrian and bicycle detection system
What About Urban Planning
It is no secret that, even as society encourages more and more people to bike and walk to work, little has been done to actually make our streets safer for them to do so: a number of bike lanes and similar zones only extend for short distances, all while cars are driving at the same speed near them; moving too quickly to actually respond to cyclists and pedestrians.
Contact Our Houston Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
Every two hours, a pedestrian dies due to a collision with a vehicle, and the majority of these accidents occur in urban areas such as Houston. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a pedestrian or bicycle accident due to a negligent driver, contact our Houston pedestrian accident attorneys today at The West Law Office to find out how we can help.