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Manufacturer introduces new pedestrian-friendly airbags

Few things can be more frightening than an auto accident involving a pedestrian and a vehicle. At any speed and in any location, including the roads of San Antonio, a collision between someone on foot (or bicycle) and a moving car or truck can quickly bring about serious injuries and even, in some tragic cases, death.

One manufacturer is going out of its way to combat these dangers in a time when more and more car owners are doing more of their driving at slower speeds along pedestrian-packed city streets. Swedish automaker Volvo announced earlier this month that it will include exterior, pedestrian-protecting airbags in its new V40 models, along with a multifaceted internal system designed to decrease the likelihood of a collision between car and walker.

Already known for its models’ prominent safety features, Volvo’s new safety system involves integrated front-facing cameras, grill-mounted radar, and automatic brakes that can stop a car even if a driver ignores an imminent collision. If a crash with a pedestrian does in fact occur, airbags installed in the car’s exterior body will deploy, softening much of a person’s impact.

The system is designed to function best at slow speeds, particularly between 12 and 30 miles per hour, which is the velocity at which most pedestrian accidents happen.

Currently Volvo does not plan to include the pedestrian airbag features on an of its American models, but it seems likely that success in other markets will only encourage the automaker and its competitors to step up their pedestrian safety measures.

With the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently releasing the information that over 32,000 traffic fatalities occurred in America in 2012-16 percent of which befell those outside of the vehicle-it seems both hopeful and prudent that improved pedestrian safety features will become increasingly standard on new cars and trucks.

Despite manufacturers’ waking up to the problem of pedestrian accidents, these collisions still occur every day across the nation and right here in Texas. For those who have been seriously hurt, or have lost a loved one as a result of an auto accident, getting in touch with a skilled personal injury attorney can help to illuminate the legal avenues to extracting both financial compensation and justice.

Source: Popsci, “Volvo’s New Exterior Airbags Protect Pedestrians,” Shaunacy Ferro, Feb. 20, 2013

•· Our firm can help accident victims of any and all circumstances. For more information, contact our Bexar County injury law page.