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Why haven’t improvements in vehicle safety reduced pedestrian fatalities?

by | Apr 29, 2021 | Bicycles/Pedestrians Hit By Cars

Vehicle manufacturers tout the advances they have made in in-car safety features. Cars now have things such as airbags that keep those inside the car safe. They have sensors and advanced braking systems, which should keep everyone safer.

So why did pedestrian fatalities hit a 30-year high in 2019? It turns out advances in vehicle technology are not always beneficial to pedestrians.

Not all in-car technology improves safety

Some in-car technologies bring significant safety advantages. Others may actually make driving more dangerous. Modern-day vehicles are full of electronic systems that can distract the driver. They include satellite navigation systems, video players and anything that lets you use a cellphone while driving.

You could argue that people would use their phones anyway when driving. However, making it easier for them to do so does not make life safer for pedestrians.

Most in-car safety features have car users in mind, not pedestrians

Think about the average advert for an SUV. It promotes a high driving position which allows you a commanding view of the road. Manufacturers do not point out that raising a car raises the impact point on the body of any pedestrian hit. If a low vehicle hits you, it takes your legs out. If an SUV hits you, it impacts your upper body, where your vital organs are. It increases the risk of severe injury or death.

It is crucial to investigate all avenues for compensation if a car driver injures you. As a pedestrian in an accident, you might feel lucky to have survived. However, staying safe when walking should not come down to luck. If a car driver hits a pedestrian, it is usually down to negligence.

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