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NHTSA Urged To Make Pedestrian Protection Technology Mandatory

advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) technologies

Severe and fatal injuries are far too common in pedestrian accidents

Pedestrians are vulnerable when walking near the road. It only takes one negligent driver to cause a pedestrian accident that leaves the victim seriously injured or killed. Technological advances have allowed manufacturers to add features to vehicles that can help protect pedestrians. One of these features is pedestrian automatic emergency braking (PAEB).

This technology uses sensors to detect people in the road and automatically applies the brakes to slow the vehicle or bring it to a stop.

In March, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that pedestrian automatic emergency braking (PAEB) would be among the advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) technologies recommended for new vehicles beginning in 2024.

Improvements sought for current technology

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) are now petitioning federal regulators to go beyond that by requiring all passenger vehicles to be equipped with PAEB – which works in all light conditions.

IIHS vice president Jessica Cicchino and HLDI senior vice president Matthew Moore wrote to the NHTSA to petition for the change. Research has found that current PAEB technology reduces the risk of pedestrian crashes by an estimated 32% to 33% in daylight but does not reduce the risk of pedestrian crashes in the dark.

The organizations said their testing demonstrated that good PAEB performance in the dark is possible. More than a third of fatal pedestrian crashes happen at night on unlit roads, they noted.

“While IIHS and HLDI support adding nighttime testing to NCAP, we believe good performance in the dark should be mandated and not merely recommended through NCAP,” they wrote.

The NHTSA is currently moving forward with the process of adding 4 ADAS technologies recommended for vehicles under its 5-Star Safety Ratings program – also called the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) – noting that they can help save lives.

“With the proposal to include pedestrian automatic emergency braking, NCAP would be expanded, for the first time, to include safety for people outside of the vehicle,” the NHTSA said.

The public has 60 days to comment on the proposal.

Talk to a pedestrian accident attorney if you were hit by a car

While PAEB can help, pedestrian accidents are usually caused by negligent drivers. This includes motorists who are speeding, ignoring traffic signals, texting, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Because pedestrians have no protection, they can suffer very serious injuries in a collision. These include broken bones, back injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and injuries to internal organs. Medical expenses can become overwhelming. And if injured pedestrians are unable to work, there is less income coming in.

But even if a driver was clearly negligent, recovering financial compensation can be complicated. At-fault drivers often deny doing anything wrong and try to shift blame to avoid responsibility. Insurance companies try to minimize injuries so they can pay as little money as possible. Or they make a lowball settlement offer that doesn't even come close to covering all the victim's losses.

If you’ve been injured in a Florida pedestrian accident, you need an experienced attorney to help you recover the compensation you deserve. At the Law Offices of Brent C. Miller, P.A., we build strong cases and fight the insurance companies to get results.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We have four offices in Central Florida, including Tavares, Inverness, The Villages, and Clermont.

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