Most of the time if we focus on where we’re going there’s not too much to worry about. But it’s a different story around traffic, people are small and soft, and cars are big heavy and hard. Because of this when cars hit people the car will always win. Let’s have a look at what happens in a typical pedestrian crash.
We can also use the laws of physics to work out what is going on at each stage. While a good driver is always scanning the road ahead for potential hazards it is the unexpected appearance of a pedestrian that can have shocking consequences. The speed of the car prior to the incident is crucial, the lower the speed of the car the less distance is traveled before the driver reacts. This gives the driver more space in which to avoid a collision. But if a car can’t stop then the following occurs.
The car hits the person, first the bumper contacts the leg causing the pedestrian to be lifted upward and rotated toward the car which will still be moving forwards. Typically, this results in the head hitting either the hood or windscreen of the car. During this part of the impact the pedestrian is accelerated to the speed of the car, as the car under brakes comes to rest the pedestrian continues at the speed of impact before being thrown from the hood, where a second impact with the road occurs.
Crash investigators use these laws of physics to work out what happened by working backward. They can use the distance travelled by the pedestrian on impact to calculate the impact speed between car and pedestrian. From there they can work backwards to calculate the speed the car was traveling at prior to braking, by examining skid marks. By understanding the physics involved we can see how reaction time, braking distance and impact speed are all important factors in a pedestrian crash. For example, if a car hits a person at 30 miles an hour this is roughly the same impact as one falling eleven feet onto a car hood. If the impact speed is 50 miles an hour, then the impact is equal to a 32-foot fall onto a car’s hood.
That’s why speed zones are used to slow cars down in areas with lots of pedestrians. They warn drivers to be cautious as well as give drivers more time to react in case of an emergency. Clever road design is also used to help guide pedestrians to safe crossings where they are visible to drivers. Pedestrians can help drivers by using these crossings where possible.
Looking for a Pedestrian Accident Attorney?
Pedestrian accident cases should never be rushed, but nevertheless are in too many instances.
Some law firms don’t have the resources needed to prove the full extent of injuries and losses, nor do they have the inclination to treat individuals as more than a simple business transaction. In addition to demonstrating the physical harm that was done, the attorneys at Shapiro Winthers & McGraw P.C. know how important internal injuries, lifetime medical needs, work loss, and reduced or lost earning capacity are to the overall claim.
We put an emphasis on the whole person, not just the acute injury, often working with clients even after the case has been resolved.
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