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Georgia Personal Injury Blog

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Personal Injury Law, Pedal Errors Cause 16,000 Preventable Car Crashes Annually

On average, drivers press the brake pedal in their car almost a million times every year – that’s 44 times a day on average. Most of the time drivers brake without incident. But every year approximately 16, car crashes are caused by pedal error.

“Pedal error” happens when a driver accidently presses the gas pedal instead of the brake, causing the car to accelerate rather than slow down. Pedal error can result in serious personal injuries for vehicle occupants, other motorists and nearby pedestrians.

According to the NHTSA’s safety advisory on this topic, these incidents happen most often when vehicles are traveling at very low speeds and braking is commonly required, such as parking lots, intersections and highway exit ramps. Even if drivers immediately recognize that a pedal error has occurred, they are often unable to correct the error in time to prevent a crash, in part because pedal error usually occurs in confined spaces where vehicles are close together.

A pedal error can happen to any driver, however studies show that drivers under age 20 or over the age of 65 experience pedal error crashes about four times more frequently than any other age group.

The NHTSA’s safety advisory offers the following advice to prevent crashes due to pedal error:

1. Get Familiar – Adjust your seat, mirrors, steering wheel and pedals (if they are adjustable) properly before starting the vehicle. If you are driving a vehicle you don’t normally drive, make sure to familiarize yourself with the location and feel of the accelerator and brake pedals.
2. Aim for the Middle – Make it a habit to aim for the center of the brake pedal every time the brake is used. This reinforces muscle memory and reduces the chances of pedal error.
3. Avoid Distractions –Stay focused on the driving task until the vehicle is safely stopped, shifted into park, and the engine is turned off.
4. Be Cautious – Proceed slowly and carefully when pulling in and backing out of parking spaces.
5. Wear the Right Shoes – Your footwear affects your ability to operate a vehicle. Footwear such as flip-flops, heavy boots, or high heels can contribute to pedal error crashes. Wear flat soled and light-weight shoes whenever you’re in the driver’s seat.

Have you been injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s pedal error? If you have been injured in a car accident and need help with your claim, email Marc Avidano at mavidano@smithwelchlaw.com or call 770-957-3937.

 

Any representations regarding the law in this Blog is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.



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