Around 16,000 of all auto crashes that occur in the U.S. nationally could be attributed to pedal error, according to recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA). The agency has now issued new guidelines on how to prevent pedal error, in hopes of lowering these alarming statistics.
The South Carolina car accident attorneys at The Jeffcoat Firm want to encourage drivers to heed these restrictions to keep the roads safer for everyone in the state.
Explaining pedal error
According to the NHTSA, pedal error can occur for a number of reasons:
- The driver’s foot can step on the accelerator accidentally, instead of applying the brake
- The driver’s foot can slip off the brake and depress the accelerator at the same time
- The driver intends to hit the brake, but depresses both the brake and accelerator
When one of these situations occurs, the result is sudden acceleration with the absence of any braking. The results can be catastrophic, particularly if the event occurs in an environment like a parking lot or intersection. According to data from the NHTSA, the problem is four times more prevalent among drivers under the age of 20 or over 65.
To help avoid these types of accidents, the NHTSA has made a few recommendations. First, the agency warns drivers to get familiar with the vehicle they are driving, including knowing the precise locations of the brake and accelerator pedals. Taking the time to adjust your seat and mirrors, as well as your pedals if your vehicle allows it, will lower the likelihood that your foot will hit the wrong pedal while you are on the road.
The NHTSA also advises drivers to aim for the middle of the brake pedal whenever it is needed. This ensures you train your foot and leg in proper muscle memory and reduces the likelihood your foot will slip and hit the acceleration unintentionally. It is also important to wear the proper shoes when driving to prevent your foot from inadvertently hitting the wrong pedal. Flip flops, high heels and heavy boots can contribute to this risk.
Avoiding distractions is an important element of safe driving any time, but it can specifically help you avoid hitting the wrong pedal by mistake. At the same time, slow and careful progression when pulling out of driveways and parking spots can also reduce your risk of an accident.
Pursuing a pedal error accident lawsuit in SC
While attorneys at The Jeffcoat Firm recognize these safety tips can go a long way in preventing an accident related to pedal error, they have also seen firsthand what happens to victims that were injured through no fault of their own. If you were harmed in a car accident, you may be entitled to legal compensation to pay for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and other non-economic losses. Your choice of lawyer can mean the difference between a favorable verdict or settlement.
Motor vehicle crashes can have far-reaching consequences for the victims. If you are injured or lose a loved one through no fault of your own, help is available. Contact The Jeffcoat Firm today to learn more about filing a car accident lawsuit in SC. You can reach us toll-free anytime by dialing (803) 200-2000