IIHS to Institute New Pedestrian Safety Ratings

Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers discuss an attempt by the IIHS to reduce pedestrian accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rates motor vehicles based on how different makes and models perform in controlled accidents. The IIHS evaluates how car, minivan, and SUV bodies, restraints, seats, and headlights withstand crashes at different angles and speeds to protect the passengers inside. Beginning in 2020, the IIHS ratings will also evaluate how effective avoidance technology is at preventing collisions with pedestrians.

Pedestrian Fatalities on the Rise

Between 2009 and 2017, the number of pedestrians killed in motor vehicle accidents increased to 45 percent. Experts believe the increase in pedestrian fatalities has different causes. Mobile phone use and distracted driving are major factors. The popularity of SUVs and crossovers is also to blame. Because the front ends of these vehicles are higher, they strike pedestrians in the head and chest areas during a crash, increasing the chance of fatal injuries. In one-third of fatal crashes, pedestrians were impaired by alcohol. Automakers are responding to the increase in pedestrian deaths with innovative crash avoidance technology designed to sense hazards and decrease traveling speed or stop altogether.

Crash Avoidance Systems

Pedestrian avoidance technology utilizes cameras and sensors mounted in strategic areas of the car to scan ahead and alongside the vehicle for potential hazards. Algorithms determine what an approaching object may be, its likely path, and how fast it is moving to determine if a crash is imminent. If so, the system alerts the driver to respond accordingly. Certain systems brake automatically to avoid these hazards.

While IIHS pedestrian safety ratings will not be official until 2020, the agency has already completed testing on 11 small SUVs with crash avoidance systems designed to detect and stop for pedestrians. The following four models earned Superior ratings for pedestrian crash prevention:

  • 2018-2019 Honda CR-V
  • 2019 Subaru Forester
  • 2019 Toyota RAV4
  • 2019 Volvo XC40

The following five vehicles earned the next-best Advanced rating:

  • 2019 Chevrolet Equinox
  • 2018-2019 Hyundai Kona
  • 2019 Kia Sportage
  • 2018-2019 Mazda CX-5
  • 2019 Nissan Rogue

Crash avoidance systems are standard on certain car models; in others, they are available in upgraded models.

2020 IIHS Pedestrian Safety Ratings

Moving forward, the IIHS will test vehicles in three different pedestrian accident scenarios. Vehicles traveling at 12 and 25 miles per hour will be tested to respond to a child emerging between parked cars and an adult walking along the right side of the road. Cars, vans, and SUVs are rated on how effectively they detect, avoid, and alert drivers to approaching pedestrians.

Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Pedestrians Injured in Car Accidents

If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton will protect your rights every step of the way. To learn more about your options for pursuing compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering, call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today.

Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.