Each year, approximately 6,000 pedestrians die after being hit by motor vehicles, and thousands more are seriously injured. Pedestrian deaths have trended upward in recent years, however, pedestrian detection technology in newer cars may significantly reduce the number of pedestrian deaths and injuries.
Pedestrian detection systems vary by manufacturer, but consist of various sensors, including cameras, so that the vehicle can see objects in the road. These systems are designed to respond faster than a human driver to items in the vehicle’s path. Currently, about one-third of new vehicles have these systems as standard features, while pedestrian detection systems are available as options on roughly another one-third.
AAA recently tested four 2019 models equipped with pedestrian detection systems, which included the:
- Honda Accord
- Toyota Camry
- Chevrolet Malibu
- Tesla Model 3
The AAA study found significant challenges in certain test situations, especially those conducted in darkness and low visibility. Using adult and child-sized crash test dummies, the study found that only 40 percent of collisions with adults crossing a street during daylight hours were avoided when the vehicle was traveling at 20 miles per hour (mph). In addition, none of the vehicles were able to avoid a pedestrian collision when the person crossed the road immediately after the vehicle made a right-hand turn at 15 mph.
Other results included:
- Pedestrian detection systems were ineffective at night when an adult crossed the road.
- Collisions occurred 80 percent of the time when two adults walked alongside the road with the vehicle at a 20 mph speed.
- When a child ran into traffic between two cars, a collision occurred nearly 90 percent of the time when the vehicle was moving at 20 mph. At 30 mph, every child-sized crash test dummy was hit.
These results were not promising, especially taking into consideration that 75 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents occurred at night. However, AAA conducted its nighttime crash tests using dummies dressed in dark clothing and no street lighting to imitate a worst-case scenario. It found that the faster the vehicle was traveling, the more likely a fatal or severe injury occurred. While much work remains on pedestrian detection systems, AAA believes this technology holds much promise.
Pedestrian Safety Tips
Most vehicles are not equipped with pedestrian detection systems, and that will likely hold true for many years. By taking certain precautions, pedestrians can reduce the odds of becoming accident victims. Such precautions include:
- Avoid distractions while crossing the street
- Always stop at the curb before attempting to cross
- Make eye contact or wave at a driver prior to crossing
- Use sidewalks, if available
- Wear bright clothing, especially at night
- When possible, cross in a group with other pedestrians
Cherry Hill Car Accident Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Help Pedestrians Hit by Motor Vehicles
If you are a pedestrian injured in a motor vehicle accident, you need the services of the experienced Cherry Hill car accident lawyers at DiTomaso Law. Call us today at 856-414-0010 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey, including Mt. Holly, Camden County, and Vineland.