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Don’t Rely On That Pedestrian Avoidance Technology – It’s Not Very Good


Our cars today have enough technology to keep us in our lanes, detect when cars are coming, park themselves, and give us a 360 degree view around our car. So it’s natural to assume that our vehicles also could let us when a pedestrian is about to be hit. But you may be surprised to know that in fact, pedestrian avoidance technology in vehicles lags far behind other kinds of crash and collision avoidance systems.

No Publicity For a Reason

Most car manufacturers hardly brag about their pedestrian avoidance technology. That’s likely because it just isn’t very good—and it doesn’t matter what kind of car you buy, because the statistics showing the unreliability of pedestrian avoidance systems are about the same, regardless of the make model or value of your car.

Pediatricians are Different

Most of the technology in your car detects one of two things. It either detects stationary objects, like lines on the roadway, or other vehicles, which are large, and about the same size as your vehicle, and which generally run either parallel to, or perpendicular to, our cars.

But people are different. They are smaller, and can and do move erratically. That means less reliability. And by most studies, the unreliability is pretty significant.

The Statistics are Grim

The American Automobile Association estimates that most pedestrian avoidance systems will only effectively avoid a pedestrian accident 40% of the time. And before you think that’s a pretty solid number, that was under testing where the vehicle was only going 20 miles per hour, and it was in good, clear weather conditions.

More than one pedestrian and the systems were even poorer. Where multiple people were in one place, the systems only avoided crashes in 20% of the cases tested.

And in the event you even thought that 20% was a good clip, the news gets worse: when it came to minors or children, the systems only avoided pedestrian accidents in 10% of the cases that were tested, making the systems virtually useless in protecting children pedestrians.

And if the car is going more than 30 miles per hour, the systems avoided no crashes at all—that’s right, the systems were completely useless.

Light plays a factor as well; the abysmal studies were conducted in daylight. Some researchers have found pedestrian avoidance technology “useless” in nighttime driving conditions.

How the Systems Work

To avoid pedestrians (or cars), most systems use a combination of radar, and cameras.

Systems that use both are the most effective, but even with both, the statistics were the same. Nighttime driving was made worse because the cameras cannot “see” as well, leaving the car to solely rely on radar. But cars that use only radar, and don’t use cameras, while minimally more effective in low light conditions, actually fared worse in daytime conditions.

Call the Clinton personal injury lawyers at Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, PLLC, today if you have been injured in a pedestrian accident.




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