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Google’s Solution to Save Pedestrian Lives? Human Flypaper

san francisco car crash
When a pedestrian gets hit by a car, it’s usually not the initial impact that causes serious or fatal injuries, but what’s called the “secondary impact” – the part of the crash when a person hits the ground or another object after being thrown off the vehicle. Catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury, are not uncommon in these cases.

Google’s (potential) solution to this problem? Human flypaper. You heard that right. Let us explain.

As you may already know, Google is in the process of revolutionizing travel as we know it with the invention of self-driving cars. Perhaps the most bragged-about feature of these seemingly sentient vehicles is their ability to save lives by being really good at not crashing into things, to put it simply. However, even Google admits that accident-avoidance technology has to be further developed before crashes become a thing of the past, which is why they have come up with a backup plan.

Recently, Google secured a patent that proposes placing a strong glue-like substance on the hood of its self-driving cars. The idea is that if a pedestrian or a cyclist were to get struck by a Googlemobile, they would stick onto the hood of the car upon initial impact, preventing a secondary impact and thus protecting them from further injury.

According to scientists, Google’s idea makes sense from a physics viewpoint. As Rebecca Thompson, head of public outreach for the American Physical Society, puts it, “getting hit by a car once is much preferable to getting hit by a car and then the ground and then another car.” You can’t argue with that logic.

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However, the idea starts to show a few holes upon further scrutiny. Wouldn’t a car have trouble moving to safety with a person stuck on its hood? What if the unfortunate victim’s legs or arms are dragged beneath the car? What if the car strikes another car with the person still stuck on it?

Of course, the idea is only just that – an idea. Google may hammer out its kinks before it materializes into a product, or they may come up with a completely different solution and scrap this idea in the process. Who knows what the hive of great minds at Google will think of next?

At Wilshire Law Firm, our experienced pedestrian accident attorneys stay abreast of the latest developments in motor vehicle technology and law. If you or loved one has been injured in a crash caused by another party, call us at (800) 522-7274 for a free consultation. We can provide you with a full understanding of your rights and best options for recovery.

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