For over five decades, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and auto makers have worked to make vehicles safer. Generally, the efforts have been successful, including the ubiquitous 5-star rating system and numerous car-safety improvements from crumple zones to advanced driver-assistance features. Even so, there has always been one glaring safety gap – failing to address the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
That may change in the near future. The NHTSA is seeking public comment on an updated vehicle rating program that will finally account for the safety of walkers and bicyclists. Unfortunately, as vehicles have gotten bigger, heavier, and safer for occupants, they have become more deadly to pedestrians. “Light trucks,” a broad category including pickups, minivans, crossovers, and similar vehicles, account for about three quarters of the vehicle market. It is this segment, with its high hood lines, heavier weight, and stiffer body structure, that poses the greatest risks to pedestrians and cyclists.
Adopting a new safety rating program that accounts for pedestrian safety will be a huge step in the right direction for everyone who uses the road.
Growing up in East Grand Rapids, Michigan, Nolan Erickson began working at Church Wyble PC in 2007 as a law clerk. Now as an attorney with Grewal Law, Mr. Erickson has developed extensive experience with all phases of trial and pre-trial resolution of personal injury matters, including major auto accident, medical malpractice, and other serious injury cases.