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Related Articles

Auto manufacturer takes steps to protect pedestrians

With the advent of hybrid and electric cars and the increased presence of vehicles in highly urbanized areas, the problem of pedestrian accidents has been on the rise, both across Texas and around the country. At almost any speed and any place, a walking pedestrian or cyclist's collision with a car or truck can cause serious and at times even deadly injuries.

In response to a growing trend of pedestrian accidents despite an overall drop in car and truck-related fatalities, the Swedish automaker Volvo announced earlier this month that it will begin featuring airbags placed on the exteriors in its new V40 models, along with a multifaceted internal system designed to decrease the likelihood of a collision between car and walker all in the name of pedestrian safety.

Volvo's new safety system integrates a grill-mounted radar, alarms designed to center drivers' attention, and automatic brakes that can bring the car to a stop in the event that a driver does not heed other warnings. Should a crash actually occur, airbags on the outside of the vehicle will deploy outward, softening a person's impact with the car.

The entire system is designed to be most effective in slow-speed situations, specifically between 12 and 30 miles per hour-the speed window in which most pedestrian accidents occur.

Although the airbag-appointed V40 is not slated for an American release, the move by Volvo is encouraging. Domestic manufacturers will likely seize on the company's idea and begin installing pedestrian airbags on their own American market models.

All this comes after recent numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that reveal a decline in nationwide auto accidents. All told just over 32,000 traffic fatalities occurred in America in 2012. However, the portion of accidents involving pedestrians continues to rise; 16 percent of those fatalities befell those outside of the vehicle

Even though automakers appear to waking up to the problem of pedestrian accidents, these sort of collisions still continue to happen, seriously disrupting peoples' lives every day. Being hurt or losing a loved one in the wake of an auto accident can leave many unsure of where to turn. With the help and experience of a personal injury attorney, victims can get their lives back on track and secure the financial compensation they are justly owed.

Source: Popsci, "Volvo's New Exterior Airbags Protect Pedestrians," Shaunacy Ferro, Feb. 20, 2013

•· Sometimes a pedestrian accident can be much more serious than a two-car collision. For more information, contact our Travis County injury law page.