Washington, DC

By Personal Injury Attorney Amy Gaiennie of Gaiennie Law Office 

Since 2010, pedestrian deaths have been on the rise, which does not bode well for the most recent test results of pedestrian detection systems by AAA. Earlier this year, AAA conducted several test scenarios on a track, replicating various scenes of pedestrians encountering vehicles to see how these systems faired. The results were less than ideal.

The first scenario that was tested was an adult crossing in front of a vehicle (installed with the detection system) while it traveled at both 20 miles per hour and 30 miles per hour during the day. An additional test was conducted at night, with the vehicle going 25 miles per hour. This scenario yielded the most positive results.

With a vehicle traveling 20 miles an hour in daylight, and the pedestrian detection systems on all four vehicles avoided a collision 40% of the time. All of the pedestrian detection systems fail the test while going 30 miles per hour, however.

The second scenario involved child pedestrian-safety. A child darting out in front of the vehicle from two parked cars was tested. This scenario was tested with the vehicle going 20 miles per hour and again at 30 miles per hour. This scenario proved the most deadly. A collision occurred 89% of the time with a vehicle traveling 20 miles per hour. With the vehicle going over 30 miles per hour, all of the detection systems failed.

The third scenario was a vehicle turning onto an adjacent road, on a right turn, while an adult crossed the road simultaneously. This scenario also proved quite deadly; all of the test vehicles in the scenario failed and collided with the adult pedestrian immediately following the right turn.

The fourth scenario involved two adults standing on the side of the road with their backs facing the road. This test was conducted at both 20 miles per hour and 30 miles per hour. Like other tests, this scenario did not produce positive results. With the vehicle only traveling at 20 miles per hour, the vehicle collided with pedestrians 80% of the time.

All four scenarios tested the vehicles traveling at 30 miles per hour. With the negative test results that occurred at 20 miles per hour, it is no surprise that all of the test vehicles failed the deadly scenarios while going over 30 miles per hour.

New vehicle technology is a great advancement for drivers, but until these detection systems can be proven under test environments to perform on a consistent basis 100% of the time both day and night, using any pedestrian detection system must be avoided unless a backup method is also used.

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