Drivers of varying experience share the New Jersey roadways each day. While these road users share different levels of competence and skills, the majority have acquired sufficient knowledge to remain safe.
Unfortunately, preventing every collision is simply impossible and accidents do occur. Collisions have various causes, ranging from driver error to vehicle malfunction.
Pedal errors are a surprisingly common cause of road traffic collisions. In fact, research shows that approximately 16,000 collisions per year have pedal errors as the root cause.
What is a pedal error?
Essentially, a pedal error occurs where a driver presses the accelerator rather than the brake. There are two ways that this usually happens. Firstly, a driver may simply just step on the wrong pedal. On other occasions, the driver’s foot will slip from the brake pedal over to the accelerator, causing either the accelerator to be pressed or both pedals at once, which can make the car accelerate rapidly.
Typically, these accidents occur when the car has come to a stop and must set off again. For example, a driver may run into trouble as they take or leave their space in the parking lot. Intersections are also a hot spot for pedal error accidents, due to the high flow of traffic and stop and start procedures.
While these collisions may not involve high speeds, they are still extremely dangerous because of how they catch people off guard. Cyclists and pedestrians are especially at risk, as well as the driver of the vehicle if they strike an object like a street light or wall.
Can pedal errors be prevented?
The more comfortable and familiar with the vehicle a person is, the less likely a pedal error will occur. Drivers should also engage in good practices like ensuring that pedals are pressed in the center, rather than the edges. Choosing appropriate footwear can also make a significant difference.
Sadly, not all accidents are preventable and people run into trouble all the time through no fault of their own. If you have been injured in a road traffic collision, make sure you check out your legal options.