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Common Causes of Mistaken Pedal Pushes

English: Photo showing the pedals of my car fo...

English: Photo showing the pedals of my car for use in the article on manual transmissions. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you read enough about car accidents, ¬†then you’ll find that often enough the cause of the accidents was usually something trivial. Either the driver was glancing down, thought they had more time before the red or, in some cases, they mistook the accelerator for the brake pedal.¬†

Just yesterday, a California high school student driver crashed into the side of the school. Why? The young driver was behind the wheel practicing in the school parking lot, hit the curb, became flustered and slammed on the accelerator instead of the brake pedal. The teenager crashed straight into a wall causing moderate damage to the school and minor injuries, which is nothing compared to the major injury to pride.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, women are the main pedal pushers for accidents like this. This flies in the face of the statistics that find men are more likely to crash than women. Regardless, the NHTSA notes that there are at least 15 car crashes caused by misplaced pedal application per month in the United States.

For a non-gender biased look at accidents caused by pedal confusion, Japan’s Institute for Traffic Accident Research and Analysis looked at 11 other factors that contribute to mistaking the gas for the brake. They took into account age, sobriety, experience, distraction, disability, unfamiliar controls, shadows on the road, impatience, lack of focus, panic and compared that against normal driving conditions.

In contrast to the American survey that bases conclusions off accident reports and gender, the Japanese study found that panic was the most common cause of accidentally pressing the wrong pedal. The second most common cause was age, where older drivers are more likely to become confused. Unfamiliar controls was the third most common cause of confusion.

So when someone gets out of the car that hit you and says they didn’t really mean to hit you, you can believe them. There are many reasons why the driver may have accidentally accelerated into you. Often it begins when the driver tries to reverse and is still in drive, or vice versa. Then that panic is translated into a missed step on the gas instead of the brake.

Were you injured in a car accident? Then speak to a personal injury attorney about your case. You may be entitled to a settlement for more than just your car, but your medical expenses and lost work. Visit the Accident Attorneys’ Group today.

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