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NHTSA Issues Safety Advisory About Reducing Pedal Error

by on September 19, 2015

The Phoenix car accident attorneys at Wattel & York want Arizona drivers to be as safe as possible when they get behind the wheel. It’s important that drivers follow the rules of the road and operate vehicles responsibly by not drinking or texting while driving. But there are other common problems that pose risks while driving, including “pedal errors.”

Pedal errors occur when a driver confuses the brake and the accelerator pedals, speeding up rapidly at the very moment when they are trying to slow or halt the car. Such errors generally occur in parking lots or driveways, but can also take place at intersections and the exit ramps for highways. Because pedal errors involve sudden, full throttle acceleration when drivers least expect it, they often have little time to react. Moreover, the rapid acceleration can take them off guard, making it very difficult to respond appropriately in the few moments available.

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 16,000 crashes take place because of pedal error (almost 44 collisions per day). Drivers under 20 years of age or older than 65 are more than four times likely to have a pedal error crash.

Phoenix car accident attorneys pass on the NHTSA’s safety tips

At Wattel & York, we are happy to pass along the NHTSA’s pedal error safety tips designed to help drivers avoid these kinds of crashes:

  • “Get Familiar”: make sure that you adjust your seat, mirrors and other features before you start driving and take a moment to familiarize yourself with a car that you don’t normally drive.
  • “Aim for the Middle”: habituate yourself to pushing the brake at its very center every time.
  • “Avoid Distractions”: keep your full attention on driving until you have brought your vehicle to a complete
  • “Be Cautious”: take it slow when backing out of parking spaces
  • “Wear the Right Shoes”: it is important to wear flat, light-weight shoes when you drive. Flip-flops, boots, or high heals make you much more prone to pedal errors when you drive.

Following these tips in order to develop good driving habits can reduce the number of pedal errors and associated accidents that happen so frequently.

Filing an Arizona pedal error accident lawsuit

Unfortunately, pedal error accidents do occur, resulting in serious injuries to motorists and bystanders. Several studies over the past 40 years support the fact that it is preventable human error rather than vehicle defects that causes such accidents. If you were harmed in such an accident, you may be entitled to compensation from negligent parties.

At Wattel & York, we represent victims of pedal-related accidents in the greater Phoenix area. Call our offices at 1-877-225-5562 to set up a free case evaluation with skilled personal injury lawyers in Arizona.


NHTSA, NHTSA Safety Advisory: Reducing crashes caused by pedal error

Exponent, Unintended Acceleration Related to Pedal Error

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