IIHS Reports Vehicle Safety Systems Struggle to See Pedestrians in the Dark

Active safety systems are those that can prevent car accidents from happening and greatly improve driving safety. Lane assist, blind-spot monitoring, and automatic braking are common active safety systems that your vehicle might enable you to use to prevent accidents. While active safety systems help to significantly reduce the odds of an accident occurring, they are not foolproof, especially when it comes to pedestrian detection.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says pedestrians are especially difficult for active safety systems to detect after the sun sets. The IIHS tested 23 popular vehicles and only four of them received a top score. The IIHS says many vehicles either did not slow at all or not enough to prevent striking a pedestrian test dummy during a variety of nighttime driving scenarios.

Improved Safety Equipment Could Overcome Pedestrian Problem

The IIHS said current technologies should enable more vehicles to successfully prevent accidents with pedestrians during nighttime hours. Nighttime pedestrian-detection and automatic braking systems are capable of preventing accidents with pedestrians, but the IIHS says they need improvements to become more effective.

Automakers also could improve headlights to better illuminate the roadway and shoulders or sidewalks. Greater visibility could help the safety systems to better detect pedestrians and make it easier for drivers to see them.

It is also important for pedestrians to wear clothing that is more visible at night. Brightly colored and reflective clothing greatly increase pedestrian visibility.

Pedestrians also need to be more cautious when walking at night. Paying close attention to oncoming vehicles and looking both ways before crossing the street greatly help to prevent accidents with vehicles.

No Substitute for Safe Driving

Although the IIHS says improved vehicle technology could help prevent accidents with pedestrians, drivers still are the most important factor in traffic safety. If you rely upon safety technology to prevent accidents, you are a more accident-prone driver.

Your vehicle’s active safety systems are no substitute for proactively driving safely. You still need to do your best to pay attention, identify pedestrians and other potential hazards, and avoid them.

Scanning the roadway, shoulders, and sidewalks can help you to identify pedestrians, including bicyclists, skateboarders, and people using similar modes of recreational transportation. Staying within the posted speed limits will help you to keep your vehicle under control and come to a safe stop if a pedestrian or something else suddenly appears in the road ahead.

When pedestrians and drivers equally and proactively focus on safety, the potential for a car-pedestrian accident lessens significantly.

Mount Laurel Car Accident Lawyer at the Law Office of David S. Rochman Helps Accident Survivors

Whether you are an injured driver or a pedestrian, our experienced Mount Laurel car accident lawyer at the Law Office of David S. Rochman can provide legal help. Call us at 856-751-2345 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, we serve clients in Burlington County and the surrounding areas.