New York is one of the most pedestrian-heavy cities in the country, but people walking the streets still face a serious threat from motor vehicle accidents. Some cars may be more likely than others to cause severe injuries in case of a crash, especially when pedestrians are involved. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted a series of safety tests for newer vehicles that focused on pedestrian safety, passenger protection and visibility at night, rather than traditional metrics that focused on protection for the driver in a crash. The institute said that it was prioritizing crash avoidance in addition to crash survival as factors in rating the safety of vehicles.

A spokesperson said that the institute introduced a program to rate cars for how well they avoided pedestrian accidents. The results were publicized in order to encourage auto manufacturers to do more to get protective technology in all newer vehicles. It also came in response to the growing threat of fatal motor vehicle collisions involving pedestrians, which grew by 53% between 2009 and 2018. One element of the tests include headlight visibility; for a car to receive a Top Safety Pick award in the rankings, its headlights must be rated at least acceptable or good.

The agency also focused on passenger protection during crash tests. In order to receive a top ranking, cars must also achieve a high level of protection in passenger-side crash tests. Average ratings show a 20% safety gap between driver-side and passenger-side collisions.

Even when newer safety technologies are in place, negligent drivers can pose a serious threat to pedestrians and cyclists sharing the road. People who have been injured in pedestrian accidents caused by someone else’s distraction or negligence may work with a personal injury lawyer to seek compensation for their medical bills, lost wages and other damages.