By nature, pedestrians always face a risk when navigating parking lots, crosswalks and more when vehicles are all around. Their inherent lack of protection makes them vulnerable to serious injuries even after what may seem to be a minimal impact. As more new vehicles come equipped with technologies designed to detect pedestrians, data shows that pedestrian fatalities continue to rise.

New York and New Jersey pedestrian fatalities

According to records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrians accounted for 24% of all vehicular fatalities in New York State in 2017. That increased to 28% in 2018. In New Jersey, the situation is even worse with pedestrians representing 31% of all motor vehicle accident deaths in 2018, up from 29% in 2017.

Study finds issues with new vehicle tech

Consumer Reports explains that AAA conducted a study of four 2019 model vehicles equipped with pedestrian detection and automatic braking systems. The tests were done on closed course with dummies. The results were far from positive, highlighting the need for further development of these technologies. In dark conditions, the systems were rendered completely ineffective by AAA.

When a child dummy darted out from between two vehicles in daylight hours, the dummy was hit 100% of the time when the test vehicle was traveling at 30 miles per hour. When the test vehicle was operated at 20 miles per hour, the dummy was hit 89% of the time. When tested with an adult dummy moving through a crosswalk in front of the vehicle, the dummy was hit in six out of every time instances.