Do pedestrian detection features work?

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

As vehicle manufacturers continually look for ways to make their products stand out from the competition, adding new technologies becomes important. Many of today’s vehicle technologies focus on improving safety. 

According to Consumer Reports, roughly one in three new vehicles today comes equipped with some new safety technology. Almost as many offer these features as options. Pedestrian detection and automatic braking systems are among these new technologies. 

AAA study reviews advanced safety features 

One study by AAA found that new pedestrian detection and automatic braking systems have a long way to go if they want to truly prevent pedestrians from being hit by vehicles. When two adults were on the side of the road and the test vehicle was driven at 20 miles per hour in daylight conditions, the pedestrians were hit eight out of 10 times. An adult pedestrian in a crosswalk in the same conditions was hit six out of 10 times. Child-sized pedestrian dummies fared even worse as they were hit anywhere from 89% to 100% of the time depending on the factors. 

Nighttime conditions make matters worse 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that three-fourths of all pedestrian fatalities occur in nighttime conditions. The AAA study deemed all vehicle systems tested to be completely ineffective in these situations regardless of vehicle speed or the size of the pedestrian dummies involved. 

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to provide insight into the risks faced by pedestrians even as more new vehicles come equipped with features intended to protect pedestrians by preventing accidents. 


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