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MI Safety Matters - Pedestrian Safety Highlighted by NHTSA, Focusing on Improvement

As the legal career of an experienced Detroit personal injury lawyer is largely based around representing individuals who have sustained severe personal injury or died in an accident, it is important to update the public on important and relevant safety issues and concerns that could be beneficial to everyone’s safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently turned its focus on promoting pedestrian safety, especially through new features being added to cars available to the public this year.

According to data recorded, pedestrian accidents in 2008 accounted for 11.6 percent of traffic deaths. In total, 4,378 pedestrians died, while 69,000 sustained severe personal injury. In response to these alarming numbers, the NHTSA has turned their attention to keeping both pedestrians and bicyclists safe while sharing the roads with cars by introducing new technologies. For example, Volvo released their newest vehicle last week, the 2011 S60, which comes fully loaded with many safety features. Included among them is a warning system for collisions which will detect if a pedestrian is in front of the vehicle, and if so, the car will automatically apply the brakes. Additionally, some manufacturers have started to put lane departure warning systems what will let a motorist know if there is someone in the blind spot. Safety experts believe that both technologies show great promise for decreasing the amount of pedestrian deaths in the United States.

This year, the NHTSA will release a changed vehicle rating system that encourages technologies, such as those in the new Volvo, to assist drivers prevent both pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents. However, these are not the only changes needed. The NHTSA is working with numerous states across the country to implement comprehensive pedestrian safety programs over the next three years. This includes making internal changes making it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, in addition to better education and increased enforcement against motorists and pedestrians alike that violate traffic laws.

Fortunately, the State of Michigan is among those states making changes to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. Last year, Michigan announced a three-year strategy to cut pedestrian deaths and injuries by at least 5 percent. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood stated that his department was “discouraging transportation investments that negatively affect cyclists and pedestrians… This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of nonmotorized.”

As seen by the statistics listed above, and the new changes made to infrastructure and vehicles show that this is a growing problem in the United States that all should be concerned with. It is essential that drivers, bicycle riders, and pedestrians work together to share the road and respect each other’s space. If not, serious accidents resulting in permanent and life-changing consequences can occur. Such a situation always leaves victims and their families with many questions. For answers, as well as the best legal advice and legal representation, it is important to contact a hard-working Detroit pedestrian accident lawyer. Doing so immediately can help ensure the most positive outcome for your personal injury claim.