Study Finds Highly-touted Pedestrian-Safety Features on New Vehicles to Be Inconsistent and Ineffective


The American Automobile Association (AAA), a privately held nonprofit national member association and service organization with more than 58 million members, announced on October 3, 2019, that new research found that automatic emergency braking systems with pedestrian detection performed inconsistently and were “completely ineffective at night.”

Models tested included the 2019 Chevrolet Malibu, 2019 Honda Accord, 2019 Tesla Model 3, and 2019 Toyota Camry. All four models were equipped with automatic emergency braking (AEB) and pedestrian detection.

AAA stated that almost 6,000 pedestrians are killed every year, accounting for 16 percent of all traffic deaths. Testing was performed on a closed-course to simulate common dynamic interactions between vehicles and pedestrians, with testing involving the following scenarios:

1) An adult crossing in front of a vehicle traveling at:

  • 20 mph during the day
  • 30 mph during the day
  • 25 mph at night.

2) A child running into the street from between two parked cars in front of a vehicle traveling at:

  • 20 mph
  • 30 mph.

3) An adult crossing the road as a vehicle turned right onto an adjacent road

4) A vehicle approaching at 20 and 30 mph while two adults stand alongside the road with their backs to the flow of traffic

In simulations, if an adult crossed in front of a vehicle traveling at 20 mph during the day, the systems avoided a collision 40 percent of the time. Most systems failed to avoid a collision, however, with the simulated pedestrian target at the higher speed of 30 mph.

Collisions occurred 89 percent of time when a child darted from between two cars and the vehicle was traveling 20 mph. All test vehicles collided with adult pedestrians immediately following right turns.

Collisions occurred 80 percent of the time when two adults standing alongside the road were approached with a vehicle traveling at 20 mph. AAA stated that in general, “the systems were ineffective in all scenarios where the vehicle was traveling at 30 mph,” and none of the systems detected or reacted to adult pedestrians at night.

These findings are significant reason for alarm because many drivers rely on these features to be safeguards in situations involving pedestrians, and AAA stressed that all drivers must make it a point to be alert of their immediate surroundings and never rely on pedestrian detection systems. AAA also encouraged drivers to use extreme caution when driving at night.

Hurt in a Pedestrian Accident? Finz & Finz, P.C., Will Be Ready to Fight For You

While automakers are continually testing and implementing new safety features in their vehicles, drivers still must remain alert, drive with caution, and yield the right of way to pedestrians to protect them from harm. If a negligent driver hurt you in New York, Long Island, or the surrounding areas, the pedestrian accident lawyers of Finz & Finz, P.C., will be there to help you get justice and compensation.

Time is limited to take action, so call us at 1-855-TOP-FIRM to discuss your case with an experienced New York pedestrian injury lawyer right away.

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