Portland pedestrian injury lawyers have welcomed the launch of what must be considered one of the most innovating safety devices to come along in quite awhile. It seems like airbags have been around forever, when in fact they were only introduced in 1987. Now, they are standard equipment on all new cars, and it sometimes seems like manufacturers are competing to see which of them can fit the greatest number of airbags into any given vehicle.
Airbags protect drivers and passengers in the event of front or side collisions, and there’s no doubt they have played a crucial role in saving countless lives every year. So what could another airbag system possibly offer that can be considered innovative nowadays?
How about an airbag that protects pedestrians?
Volvo have always led the way in safety devices, and they have recently announced the introduction of the first ever pedestrian airbag system, and we’re not talking years down the road or one of those concept inventions that never actually make it onto the highway. Volvo intends to include the passenger airbag system as early as 2013, in its V40 model.
Other Volvo safety firsts include:
- The first company to implement the three-point safety belt
- The first company to utilize safety glass
- The first to offer a passenger compartmental safety cage
- The first to offer the frontal airbag
How does the new pedestrian airbag work?
As shown at the Geneva Motor Show, the 2013 Volvo V40 will have front bumper sensors that register contact the moment the car hits the pedestrian. Instantly, the section of the hood that is closest to the windshield will be released and elevated by the deployment of the new airbag system.
Portland accident lawyers point to the fact that hundreds of Oregon pedestrians are killed each year. In fact, more pedestrians than motorcyclists lost their lives last year. Nationally, 47,700 pedestrians—the size of a large town—lost their lives, and 688,000 were injured in collisions with automobiles. That’s like knocking down every man, woman and child in the City of Portland and then throwing in an extra 100,000 people for good measure. And those are numbers Volvo is trying to reduce.
In addition to the new passenger airbag system, the V40 will also feature an automatic breaking system which should reduce low-speed impacts that generally occur when the driver is distracted. This intuitive technology works by:
- Using radar sensors and a camera to determine if someone has stepped out in front of the car
- If the driver doesn’t react quickly enough, the car will automatically activate the brakes.
- Additional radar sensors at the rear end of the car will alert the driver through an audible signal if traffic is coming from the side of the vehicle while reversing out of a parking space. Volvo says this should be particularly useful in tight, crowded parking areas where obstructions often impede the driver’s visibility of oncoming traffic.
Any invention that helps save lives has got to be welcomed. This latest Volvo innovation is a truly giant step forward in efforts to protect all road users, not just the people in the cars, but bicyclists and pedestrians as well. Volvo is certainly to be commended for their efforts in this regard. Oregon has seen far too many lives destroyed when pedestrians have been struck by careless or negligent drivers. Perhaps some of those lives might have been spared had pedestrian airbags been around at the time.
In a collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian or bicyclist, there will only ever be one winner, but there can be many losers. Families of victims can be emotionally, psychologically and financially devastated, and if the pedestrian is lucky enough to survive their injuries, there can be many long years of painful and expensive treatment ahead.
If you or a member of your family have been a victim of a driver who didn’t see you when you were crossing the road, the first thing you should do after getting the medical help you need is contact a reputable and experienced team of Portland pedestrian injury lawyers. Your consultation is free, and a good personal injury lawyer will listen to what happened to you, and then advise you as to your rights and what you can expect if you decide to proceed with a claim. They can also give you a very good idea of the kind of compensation you can expect to receive, and they will work hard to ensure that you and your family get the compensation you deserve.