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Vehicle technology fails to protect pedestrians

The role of technology in modern vehicles continues to increase, especially as auto makers and technology companies race to get fully autonomous vehicles on the roads. Improving safety by reducing or eliminating human error is the stated goal of these efforts.

One study conducted by AAA took a close look at just how well some technologies fared when it came to preventing pedestrian collisions.

AAA study finds serious gaps in technology performance

AAA identified multiple vehicle makes and models equipped with pedestrian detection systems and automatic braking systems to evaluate how well these two technologies together worked in preventing pedestrian accidents.

Sadly, the results of the tests conducted at night led AAA to declare the technologies totally ineffective in dark conditions, when the bulk of pedestrian deaths occur. In broad daylight, the results were better but still not glowing recommendations for the technologies. Adult pedestrian dummies were hit by test vehicles driving at a mere 30 miles per hour in six out of 10 tests. Child-sized dummies were hit with even greater frequency.

Pedestrian deaths in New York

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that the State of New York continues to struggle to keep pedestrians safe. In 2014, 25% of all people killed in crashes were pedestrians. That increased to 27% in 2015 and then to 29% in 2016 before declining slightly to 24% in 2017. Sadly, the trend did not continue.

In 2018, the total number of people killed in auto accidents in New York dropped but pedestrian fatalities increased and accounted for 28% of all vehicular fatalities that year.

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