News Treehugger Voices Europeans Lead the Way in Designing Cars That Protect Pedestrians By Lloyd Alter Design Editor University of Toronto Lloyd Alter is Design Editor for Treehugger and teaches Sustainable Design at Ryerson University in Toronto. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Lloyd Alter Updated October 11, 2018 Video screen capture. Pedestrian catcher Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices And why are these not standard equipment on every car? We recently noted how Tesla cars sold in Europe have what is called an "active hood" that pops up to protect pedestrians, but American Teslas do not, because the attitude is that, if they get hit, it is their own fault for not looking both ways or for looking at their phone while wearing black clothing. In Europe, they have a different attitude, and build active protection into their cars. Atlas Obscura shows the latest, a "pedestrian catcher" that pops out and scoops up the errant pedestrian. The German car designers are on top of their game too, with this net system that pops out and protects the pedestrian. The designers at British Leyland have some really interesting ideas, including a chest protector for the driver and a bar to catch the pedestrian so that he doesn't bounce back into the road: Big pickup truck with killer bar on front/ Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0 Perhaps the American approach is better: build SUVs and pickup trucks (60 percent of the market now) that push around big walls of steel, perhaps with a few crash bars added to do extra damage. These kill pedestrians at three time the rate of regular cars, so there are no painful injuries to recover from and hey, they probably don't have health insurance anyway.