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Technology to avoid a pedestrian-car crash not always effective

On Behalf of | Oct 10, 2019 | Car Accidents

In Los Angeles, across California and throughout the U.S., pedestrian safety is one of the biggest topics of discussion for lawmakers and law enforcement. Since the problem of pedestrians being injured and losing their lives in a car collision has grown so significantly in recent years, there are numerous steps being taken to try to make the street safer. With texting and driving and other distracted driving behaviors added to previous everyday risks, people must be vigilant. When there is a pedestrian-car accident, there can be multiple problems because of it. A legal filing is often the most viable strategy to recover compensation.

One way to improve safety that is garnering significant attention is vehicles having a built-in feature to stop if there is a pedestrian in front of it. New research is assessing this innovation and has yielded worrying results. According to AAA, vehicles equipped with a system in which it will automatically brake if there is a pedestrian in its path has worked less than 50% of the time. If it was a child, it only worked 11% of the time when the vehicle was traveling at 20 miles per hour. In the study, four late-model vehicles that had the braking technology were tested. They were driven with dummies the size of pedestrians being moved in front of them.

Researchers found that the brake pedal did not activate until it hit the dummy. This was problematic in the daytime, but night testing was worse. Carmakers did say that the systems could be less effective in the dark. With dummies that were stand-ins for adults, the vehicles were traveling 20 miles per hour, all gave a visual warning that a collision was about to happen. In 40%, it was avoided and the vehicle reduced its speed to 6 miles per hour. When vehicles were turning a corner, the systems did not work at all.

At first glance, people might not realize the importance of this research. However, with the proliferation of drivers who are not paying attention to the road and the rise of pedestrian crashes that cause injuries and death, this should be concerning. Technology is part of the reason the roads are so dangerous and if drivers are relying on their vehicles to stop when they are about to hit a pedestrian, the effectiveness of these advancements is a key factor in safety when it comes to car crashes.

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