March 12, 2012

Volvo Redesigns Vehicle to Protect Pedestrians in Accidents

by Levin & Perconti

Last Friday, an Illinois accident lawyer at our firm read an interesting article on SFGate.com. The article discussed how certain automobile makers have started implementing pedestrian safety features into the cars as well features that protect drivers and passengers. Volvo, one of these automobile makers, has a hatchback model, the V40, which has the “world’s first pedestrian air bag that deploys from the hood.” The car will also have backswept headlights, or slanted headlights, that will also aid driver’s visibility.

Pedestrian safety has been a topic of growing importance, especially in big cities such as Chicago. According to the City of Chicago website, 32 pedestrians were killed in the city during the year 2010. In addition to car manufactures implementing new technologies that help keep pedestrians safe, or reduce the severity of injuries, cities with many commuters, like Chicago, have also been doing their part to alert pedestrians and drivers of safety techniques.

As mentioned in some of our previous blog entries this past fall, the Chicago Department of Transportation as well as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Chicago Police Department, have been working together to campaign for pedestrian safety. Chicago’s efforts range from setting up mannequins along Wacker Drive in Chicago to represents pedestrians involved in fatal accidents, and awareness messages on benches, trash cans, and side walks, as well as educating the schools and neighborhoods. The goal of these campaigns was to get more pedestrians to use crosswalks, and more drivers to be aware of pedestrians and stop for them at crosswalks. Pairing technology, such as the Volvo pedestrian air bag, with education programs could be the key to reducing pedestrian accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

A Chicago auto accident lawyer of ours saw on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that older adults and children are most at risk for being involved in pedestrian collisions. The site also stated that both drivers and pedestrians who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol are also at a higher risk of being involved in a pedestrian related accident. In order to prevent these types of accidents, pedestrians and drivers should be especially careful when near intersections. Intersections are the most typical place for pedestrian accidents to occur, especially when cars turn left at a four way stop. Another way these accidents can be avoided is for pedestrians to wear reflective clothing or carry around a flashlight when in the dark or in dim lit areas.

Our Illinois car accident attorneys encourage automobile makers like Volvo to continue working on new technologies that can help drivers avoid pedestrian accidents, or reduce pedestrian injuries should an accident occur. We believe that by combining these technologies with pedestrian awareness campaigns and education the number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities can be greatly reduced. We remind drivers and pedestrians to always be alert and aware to avoid these types of accidents.