The most dangerous injury a pedestrian can sustain during a collision with a motorvehicle is a head injury. Even if the pedestrian survives, damage to the brain can cause permanent disabilities that severely limit quality of life. A new material developed by the company Cellbound in cooperation with Ruskin University may reduce the severity of head injuries, which could lower the number of fatal pedestrian accidents.
Danger of Head Injuries in Pedestrian Collisions
When an automobile strikes a pedestrian, the bumper usually strikes the pedestrian in the upper leg. The body naturally bends towards the car from the impact, folding over the hood of the car. The forward motion causes the pedestrian to strike his or her head on the bonnet (hood) with intensified force that increases with the speed of the car. In a minor accident, the pedestrian could suffer a concussion. In a severe case, the person could suffer skull fracture leading to coma or death.
New Material Absorbs Impact
The new bonnet material absorbs the energy of the collision better than metal. During a collision, the new material absorbs the force, rather than reflect the force back at the pedestrian. When the car strikes a pedestrian, the material crumples at the point of impact, absorbing the force of the collision and creating a cushioning effect.
Major car manufacturers have already expressed interest in trying the innovative new material. Manufacturers would not need to make design changes to use this material instead of standard metal or fiberglass.
Dramatic Potential to Reduce Injuries
Research shows that this new material could cut down the risk of head injury during a pedestrian accident by as much as 50 or 60 percent. This drastic reduction in injury rates could lower the rate of pedestrian deaths from auto accidents significantly because pedestrian head injuries are the leading cause of fatalities.
Those who avoid head injuries in a collision are far less likely to die from the accident. For this reason, reducing the severity of head injuries to pedestrians could lead to a dramatic reduction to the number of pedestrian fatalities in car crashes.
Expense May be an Obstacle
Of course, new technologies tend to increase costs, especially when they first arrive on the marketplace. The new bonnet material costs more than traditional materials. In addition, car manufacturers would need to create a new forming process for the material. Although manufacturers can pass the cost on to the consumer, cheaper cars are easier to sell. Many car manufacturers will be reluctant to make changes that will hurt sales. In addition, special materials like Cellbound would not be necessary if drivers simply slowed down. Pedestrians are less likely to suffer severe injury from lower speed impacts.
If you or someone you love was struck as a pedestrian, contact our office for a free expert evaluation of your case. We will explain your rights and help you decide if a pedestrian lawsuit is the best course of action.