Accidents Caused by Pedal Confusion
Accidents caused by pedal error is much more common than understood. Haste combined with distraction is a dangerous recipe that often results in vehicle accidents caused by pedal misapplication. According to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedal error crashes are four times more likely to occur with drivers under 20 years of age and over 65, than any other age groups.
Even though pedal error accidents tend to happen at low speeds, they are certainly no less dangerous than head-on collisions, or vehicle rollovers. The following article provides information on how the law in Connecticut regards car accidents caused by pedal error. If you or your loved one has been hurt in a vehicle collision, you should know what your rights are before paying hundreds or thousands of dollars to repair the damage.
At The Flood Law Firm, we have decades of combined legal experience with successfully winning car accidents cases – let us be your advocates. Contact us today by calling (860) 346-2695. We offer a no-cost, no-obligation consultation to help determine your best options.
Accidents Caused by Pedal Confusion
A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that approximately 16,000 crashes take place each year in the U.S. due to pedal misapplication. That breaks down to approximately 44 pedal error crashes per day.
Accidents involving pedal error tend to happen while a vehicle is moving at slow speed, such as when a driver is trying to park or back up out of a parking spot. But when the driver accidentally steps on the gas instead of the brake, the slow speed is suddenly accelerated, giving the driver only seconds to correct their error before a collision takes place. Because these accidents predominantly take place in areas that are in close proximity to other vehicles, buildings or people (such as in a parking lot or driveway), it is all too easy for these pedal errors to result in significant damage.
Collisions caused by pedal misapplication tend to create the most harm to bystanders or pedestrians who happened to be in the path of the vehicle when it moved in the wrong direction.
While fault in these cases may be found against the driver, victims of pedal error accidents may also be able to file a claim against the car’s manufacturer, or even the owner or property manager of the area where the accident took place. Successful claims of this nature may depend on the analysis of the following factors:
- Whether the driver was negligent in their driving
- Whether the vehicle manufacturer designed a defective product or part
- If the person who maintains the area where the accident took place failed to take reasonable caution (i.e. putting up barriers)
If you are the victim of a pedal error accident, you may be able to obtain compensation for economic damages, such as medical bills and wages lost due to your inability to return to your job. You may also be entitled to non-economic damages for the pain and suffering you endured in the incident.
The car accident attorneys at The Flood Law Firm has extensive knowledge about vehicle collision cases and can investigate the accident and help you file your claim properly.
Common Causes of Pedal Errors
Pedal errors usually boil down to one of the following actions:
- A driver intends to step on the brake, but mistakenly steps on the accelerator
- The driver’s foot slips from the edge of the brake onto the accelerator
- The driver intends to brake, but mistakenly steps on both pedals at the same time.
These relatively simple errors can be responsible for significant damage to property, as well as personal injury. If they occur at intersections or on exit ramps, these mistakes can even be life-threatening.
When it occurs, drivers guilty of pedal error are often as surprised as anyone. While some drivers may quickly realize their error, it is not uncommon for others to keep their foot on the mistaken pedal, and even continue to apply pressure out of a reflexive instinct.
Injuries Caused by Pedal Confusion
As with any type of accident involving a vehicle, the injuries that can be sustained due to pedal confusion range from mild to severe. Different factors will determine the nature of the situation, such as the vehicle’s size, and how fast it’s traveling. However, pedal confusion has been connected with both tragic and irreversible injuries, including:
- Spinal Curvatures
- Third-degree Burns
- Brain Injuries
Furthermore, these specific injuries are known to require long-term assistance, which can become emotionally, financially and mentally straining. Though a settlement cannot correct the results of an accident, it can assist with treatment and missed wages due to the inability to work. To learn more about catastrophic injuries, visit this page.
Preventable but Common Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has outlined a series of tips for preventing pedal error. These tips include:
- Be familiar with your vehicle and, if driving an unfamiliar vehicle, note the location of the pedals before you start the car
- Aim for your foot to press the center of the brake and accelerator pedals
- Avoid distractions while driving
- Drive slowly and carefully when parking or exiting a parking lot or driveway
- Avoid wearing footwear that could get caught on the pedals
To avoid pedal error, it is also very important to take time before starting your car to ensure that your feet can comfortably reach the pedals. A few seconds spent adjusting your seat and the car mirrors to the optimal position may make all the difference in the world.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney Today
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a pedal error accident, get the help you need from the Connecticut car accident attorneys at The Flood Law Firm. Contact us today by calling (860) 346-2695 for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. Let us take care of the legal process, so you can focus on what’s important: healing. Moving forward, we guarantee a smooth, convenient procedure.