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Pedestrian Avoidance Technology Is Not In Wide Use


Today’s cars come with more technology than ever, all designed to avoid collisions. Your car can detect oncoming traffic from almost every direction, alert you when other cars are in your path, and even tell you when you may be in someone else’s way, such as assisting you in staying in your lane.

But with all this technology, there is one area where technology is sorely lacking: Almost none of these safety features avoid pedestrian accidents, or are useful in lowering the amount of pedestrian accidents. The technology that exists is almost useless in avoiding or preventing collisions with pedestrians.

No Requirement to Have the Technology

There is technology that exists, which can alert drivers to pedestrians, or keep a car from colliding with a pedestrian. But many automakers have been slow to implement this technology, and there is no requirement for them to do so.

Some states have discussed doing just that; the State of New York at one point discussed a law requiring vehicles to be rated on how safe they are when it comes to pedestrian accidents, but that measure has not become law. The law sought to rank cars on how much damage that they do when the cars hit pedestrians.

There is some logic to this, we do know that bigger, heavier cars tend to inflict more damage on pedestrians. At the very least, the rating system would make people more aware that they share the road with pedestrians, and of the damage a car can cause when it hits pedestrians.

How the Technology Works

Most pedestrian avoidance technology works by using cameras mounted on or around the rear view mirror, sometimes assisted by radar technology mounted to the front of the vehicle. But the technology for pedestrians can be difficult and requires specialized algorithms to ensure that the thing in front of the car is actually a pedestrian (or in some cases, an animal), worthy of the technology forcing the vehicle to stop on its own. When the technology does work, it can stop a car faster than human reflexes can.

Does it Work?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety studied pedestrian avoidance technology. It cited one study that found that pedestrian avoidance technology in some Subaru vehicles, reduced the rate of pedestrian accident insurance claims by 35%.

However, it also found a wide variance in how effective the technology was; in some cases, the technology didn’t slow the car at all, or didn’t slow it enough to lower the seriousness of any pedestrian impact.

The tests were conducted in daylight; poor lighting or bad weather could also lower the effectiveness of the technology.

Still, something is better than nothing, and today, most mainstream cars have very few systems  to avoid pedestrian accidents.

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




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