Would adhesive on cars protect pedestrians?

Last week, Google received a patent for an adhesive coating on the front of self-driving cars. The purpose? To reduce injuries when cars hit pedestrians. But will this work?

The idea is that if a pedestrian sticks to a vehicle, then he or she wouldn’t get thrown from the hood, suffering further injuries. This is an interesting approach to pedestrian safety, but questions remain about how well the adhesive would work.

The numerous dangers of pedestrian accidents

When a vehicle strikes a pedestrian, a number of things may happen:

  • The pedestrian lands on the hood and windshield of the vehicle, perhaps to be thrown off when the vehicle stops
  • The pedestrian is struck and immediately knocked over
  • The vehicle pins the pedestrian between it and another object
  • The vehicle drags the pedestrian
  • The vehicle runs over the pedestrian

All of these possibilities are extremely dangerous. If an adhesive can prevent these scenarios, it may reduce the number and severity of pedestrian injuries. There is, however, the possibility that sticking to the vehicle is just as dangerous. The vehicle could crash, causing the person catastrophic injuries.

In any pedestrian accident, the victim is at risk for life-changing injuries such as broken or crushed bones, amputations, severe lacerations and road rash, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and permanent scarring and disfigurement. People who suffer these types of injuries need specialized medical care that may span months or years.

To cover the cost of such medical treatment, as well as any lost wages, pedestrian accident victims need compensation from the negligent driver’s insurance carrier. Because insurance companies often deny or undervalue serious injury claims, many people need the help of a lawyer. Personal injury lawyers fight insurance companies every day and know how to protect your rights.

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