Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim had only a moment to swerve to avoid hitting a car of which had stalled out from the middle of I-690 earlier This particular week, however he couldn’t avoid the different car’s driver, who had exited his vehicle in addition to also was trying to cross the freeway.
The deadly accident was just one of hundreds of which have so far occurred This particular year, part of a rising tide of pedestrian fatalities of which automotive safety advocates in addition to also government regulators are struggling to address. Over the past decade, the numbers have risen by nearly 50 percent, to around 6,000 annually, in addition to also could continue to grow, experts warn, due to a variety of factors.
however a fresh study released This particular week by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety highlights one possible response, the introduction of fresh, digital safety systems of which can spot pedestrians in addition to also apply a vehicle’s brakes automatically, preventing many pedestrian collisions in addition to also reducing the severity of others. Another option might be to improve lighting systems in order of which drivers can see better in addition to also have more time to react.
“We want to encourage manufacturers to include pedestrian detection capabilities as they equip more of their vehicles with automatic emergency braking systems,” said David Aylor, the IIHS manager of Active Safety Testing. “We also want to arm consumers with information about these systems so they can make smart choices when shopping for a fresh vehicle.”
The Institute tested 11 tiny SUVs equipped Automatic Emergency Braking, or AEB, systems with the added capability of detecting in addition to also responding to pedestrians who have entered a vehicle’s path. Of those, four earned a “superior” rating, all 5 more pronounced “advanced.” Only one, the BMW X1, failed to earn some level of endorsement, its system functioning so poorly of which a crash dummy in one test was sent “airborne,” according to the insurance trade group.
The decision to start out by testing a group of SUVs should come as no surprise. Utility vehicles, in general, at This particular point account for about two out of three fresh car purchases by U.S. motorists these days. however, more significantly, an earlier report by the IIHS warned of which the tall, blunt noses of SUVs — as well as pickups – tend to be more deadly than lower, rounder sedans in addition to also coupes.
of which translates into a more blunt-force impact, IIHS President David Harkey noted last year, in addition to also less likelihood of which a pedestrian being struck by an SUV might be able to roll off the vehicle in addition to also reduce injuries.
The increasing presence of utility vehicles can be only one of the reasons why federal data shows pedestrian fatalities jumped 46 percent by 2009 to 2017 – in addition to also while last year’s data has not yet been released the item can be supposed to show another increase. Experts also worry of which the situation can be compounded by digital distraction. Drivers aren’t the only ones staring at their smartphones. So are many pedestrians who walk into intersections without checking for traffic or even to see if they hold the right of way.
“We’ve got distracted drivers in addition to also we’ve got distracted pedestrians, in addition to also of which can be a deadly combination,” Rebecca Lindland, an independent auto analyst, noted in a statement following the Discharge of the 2017 pedestrian fatality statistics last May.
There are yet different factors contributing to the rise in pedestrian fatalities. Traffic volume has risen sharply since the end of the last recession, much of the item on poorly designed roadways.
Last September, the National Transportation Safety Board gathered safety in addition to also industry experts together to try to find ways to address the problem. The board’s staff pointed to several different issues, including drug use in addition to also increased urbanization. in addition to also the agency released a list of 11 recommendations aimed at resolving the problem.
The Governors Highway Safety Administration stressed of which “there can be no single, universal solution to This particular issue,” the group said in a statement. “States in addition to also localities should reserve the right to examine in addition to also evaluate the pedestrian safety problems their communities face in addition to also implement the solutions of which best fit their needs.”
The City of fresh York has underscored of which by targeting roadway redesign in addition to also updated markings of which in 2017 garnered credit for helping reduce pedestrian fatalities to just 101, the lowest total since the city commenced keeping records in 1910.
however experts believe of which a significant part of the process will require improvements in vehicle design. Mark Rosekind, the last administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration under President Barack Obama, can be a big advocate of high-tech solutions, arguing of which fully autonomous vehicles could eventually eliminate all however a tiny number of highway crashes of all types.
the item’s a matter of intense debate how soon truly hands-free vehicles will be ready for prime time, however, something highlighted by a fatal pedestrian crash in Tempe, Arizona, last March involving an autonomous Uber prototype. however the newly released IIHS study, along with different recent data, suggests of which even at This particular point, what are known as advanced driver assistance systems can play a role.
“The best possible outcome can be to avoid hitting a pedestrian altogether,” said IIHS manager Aylor. “When a crash can be unavoidable, sharply reducing a vehicle’s travel speed might give someone on foot a far greater chance of surviving any injuries in a similar real-world encounter using a passenger vehicle.”
Federal regulators are also looking at updating automotive lighting regulations of which have gone largely unchanged since the 1970s.
The rules currently in place are “very old,” NTSB project manager Deb Bruce said during the autumn hearing, in addition to also don’t “allow manufacturers to design headlights of which are optimized to help” a driver see what’s ahead.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently began the process of rulemaking of which could allow the use of lighting technology widely available in Europe however banned here. Known as Adaptive Driving Beams, they don’t require a driver to flip back in addition to also forth between high in addition to also low beams. Instead, sensors avoid creating glare for oncoming traffic by masking out some of the light, as needed. The technology can be so precise, “You can highlight a person walking along the road however not their head so you don’t blind them,” said Steffen Pietzonka, a senior marketing executive with Hella, one of the entire world’s largest suppliers of automotive lighting.
Because of the process involved in such a major change in rules, the item will likely be several years before any updates are in place in addition to also ADB technology isn’t supposed to show up on U.S. roads for another year or two after of which.
Still different lighting technologies are under study, including laser-powered headlamps. In Europe, they can spotlight obstacles nearly a half-mile away, however versions at This particular point showing up from the U.S. are severely more limited in power.
One way or another, “We’ve got to end This particular tragic problem on our nation’s roadways,” NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt said last November. This particular week’s fatal pedestrian crash involving Syracuse coach Boeheim made of which painfully clear.