The United States Department of Transportation’s Volpe Center recently found that pedestrian crash avoidance/mitigation (PCAM) systems can reduce the number of fatal and non-fatal car accidents involving pedestrians by thousands every year. After evaluating several types of pedestrian detection systems along with extensive crash data, the Volpe Center estimates that 800 fatal crashes and 5,000 non-fatal crashes involving pedestrians can be prevented annually with this emerging technology.
Pedestrian Detection Systems
There are several types of pedestrian detection systems emerging on the auto market in recent years. PCAM systems issue an audible or visual warning when a pedestrian is detected in the car’s path. Another technology designed to prevent collisions with pedestrians, other vehicles, and stationary objects is Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB.) AEB automatically applies the breaks when the driver fails to respond to an imminent crash. Finally, Dynamic Break Assist (DBA) increases driver-applied braking effort to the breaks to reach maximum braking pressure in order to avoid a crash.
Data on Crashes Involving Pedestrians
The statistics on pedestrian injuries and fatalities is sobering. In the United States in 2015, a car accident took the life of a pedestrian roughly every 1.6 hours. Walkers and joggers are one and a half times more likely to be fatally injured in a car crash than a vehicle passenger. Those numbers increase as the car’s speed increases.
Many of these crashes are caused by driver distraction. When a driver takes their eyes off the road to check their phone, adjust the radio, or talk with a passenger in the back seat – even for a few seconds, it is the same as driving blindfolded. A driver who is not focused on the road ahead has no time to react and avoid collisions, and that can be deadly for pedestrians. Pedestrian detection systems may prove highly-effective in preventing thousands of crashes caused by distracted driving every year.
PDS on the Market
Several auto-makers have already rolled out forms of pedestrian detection systems including Lexus, Volvo, Subaru, Ford, and Honda. Most of the current systems are effective at speeds up to 10 miles per hour, with effectiveness decreasing at higher speeds.
Honda has also developed a pedestrian mitigation steering technology, which veers the car away from oncoming pedestrians if no cars are detected on either side. BMW and Mercedes offer infrared night vision technology which detects objects or pedestrians in the vehicle’s path. Pedestrian detection technology is invaluable in protecting lives, but it does not absolve drivers from practicing safe driving. Observing the speed limit, driving sober, and paying attention to the road are the first steps in keeping pedestrians safe.
Chester County Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Represent Pedestrians Injured in Car Accidents
Pedestrian detection systems are useful, but not foolproof. Right now, they are only available in newer model cars, and even then, as additional features. We should not depend on technology to keep pedestrians safe. Drivers need to drive responsibly, obey traffic laws, and share the streets with pedestrians.
Drivers who injure pedestrians through carelessness should be held accountable. Our Chester County car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC represent injured victim of car accidents throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. Schedule a consultation today by calling 215-569-8488 or contact us online.