Pedestrian-vehicle accidents can result in the worst injuries, and even cause fatalities. According to the latest information available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pedestrians are 1.5 times more apt to be killed during collisions than car passengers. As of 2017, nearly 6,000 pedestrians were fatally hurt during vehicle crashes. Approximately another 137,000 pedestrians required medical treatment.
Knowing these statistics, car manufacturers have invested in the creation and deployment of pedestrian detection systems. The basic scientific premise behind the systems is sound: pedestrian detection systems serve as “second eyes” for drivers. This means they can alert drivers to pedestrians and, when paired with automatic emergency braking (AEB), help avoid a pedestrian-vehicle accident.
But do pedestrian detection systems work? By and large, yes. However, recent evidence shows that even the most advanced systems do not relinquish drivers from their primary responsibilities.
If you have shopped for a new car in the past few years, you may have test-driven cars equipped with pedestrian detection systems. Many car models make pedestrian detection systems standard. Others offer them as an upgrade.
The concept behind pedestrian detection systems is sound. Using radar, lidar, cameras, or any combination of those three detection methods, the system can “spot” objects including pedestrians. Once an object in the path of a car has been spotted, the system will alert the driver, initiate AEB, and, if all goes well, stop an accident from occurring.
Organizations including the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and AAA have put pedestrian detection systems through tests year after year. In general, the findings are positive.
Real-world data culled by the IIHS indicates that pedestrian detection systems reduce crash incidents by around 27%. However, as both IIHS and AAA have noted, pedestrian detection systems are not perfect, especially when used in nighttime situations.
Test after test has revealed that once the sun goes down, pedestrian detection systems are unreliable even with all detection methods in place. Why does this make a huge difference? Approximately three-quarters of fatal pedestrian-vehicle accidents happen at night. Equally as concerning, pedestrian detection systems do not work when a vehicle is turning.
When looking for a car, you may wonder if a pedestrian detection system is worth the investment. Generally speaking, they are. If your pedestrian detection system helps you slow down just a little, you could avoid getting into a catastrophic accident with a pedestrian.
Of course, even with a pedestrian detection system, you will want to make sure you remain focused on driving. Distracted driving is a leading cause behind all types of accidents, including ones with pedestrians. Therefore, your best course of action is to concentrate on the road, stay within speed limits, and always be on the lookout for pedestrians.
Pedestrians who are struck by vehicles are defenseless against the force of the collision. If you are hit by a car, even if the car slows down with the assistance of a pedestrian detection system, you are likely to need immediate and possibly ongoing emergency medical treatment.
Before accepting any money from the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier, consider talking with a car accident lawyer to help you understand your rights as a pedestrian-vehicle accident survivor.
Were you hit by a car while walking or jogging? Make an appointment to meet one of our Delaware car accident lawyers from Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Call (302) 656-5445 or fill out our online form to set up a free initial consultation in Millsboro or Wilmington, Delaware. We cover car accident cases in areas including Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County, as well as around the state.