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Drivers relying on pedestrian detection devices can cause crashes

Making your way to a destination on foot may be an almost daily occurrence for you. You enjoy walking for a number of reasons, possibly including saving money on gas and getting important exercise. Of course, as good as walking can be for your health, it can put your safety at risk when you walk on or near roadways.

Though drivers should always remain on the lookout for pedestrians, distraction and general inattention can easily result in a driver not seeing a person on foot. Too many pedestrians find themselves struck by vehicles and suffering serious or even fatal injuries as a result. In efforts to combat the regularity of these accidents, many vehicle manufacturers have started utilizing pedestrian detection systems in vehicles. But do they work?

Unfortunately, not really

Under certain circumstances, these detection systems can help prevent accidents. However, the circumstances under which they are effective appear to be few. In fact, these detections systems appear to fail more often than not when confronted with scenarios that commonly lead to pedestrian accidents. Some of those scenarios include the following:

  • Adult pedestrians hit by vehicles at nightA study conducted by AAA found that all pedestrian detection systems tested under nighttime conditions failed.
  • A child running in front of a vehicle: The study also found that, if a child darts in front of a vehicle moving at just 20 mph, an accident took place 89% of the time.
  • Vehicles moving at high speeds: The study discovered that the detection systems failed to prevent accidents when vehicles traveled at or over 30 mph.
  • Pedestrians hit by turning vehicles: The detection devices also failed to avoid collisions with pedestrians when the vehicles made a right-hand turn.

Studies like this one are important because far too many drivers rely on detection devices to avoid collisions. However, as this study shows, those systems can be highly ineffective, and if a driver reduces his or her attention on the road and thinks that the detection system will make up the difference, a serious collision could quickly occur.

Injured pedestrians

Though you hope that you will always make it to your destination without incident, a simple mistake on the part of a driver could leave you with serious injuries. If this happens, you may want to remember that you could file a personal injury claim against the driver considered at fault in order to seek compensation for damages allowable under Texas law.

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