In California and elsewhere, steps are being taken to prevent pedestrian accidents. However, IIHS has reported that avoidance tech isn’t effective in the dark.
What is the data showing with avoidance tech?
Pedestrians often face greater risks on the streets. Deaths due to pedestrian accidents are higher than ever, prompting attempts to reduce the risk with the use of avoidance technology in vehicles.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or IIHS, automatic emergency braking or AEB is designed to protect pedestrians. AEB works by relying on sensors to detect pedestrians and other vehicles, giving signals so the vehicle can automatically stop before a collision occurs. However, it’s not meant to be a tool to replace the driver’s attention as it’s used to prevent an accident that could result in serious injuries or death.
A study performed by the IIHS on this technology has shown that vehicles equipped with this safety feature are 27% less likely to get into accidents with pedestrians. At the same time, it was also determined that AEB is not as effective in the dark. The research showed that vehicles with AEB are just as likely to get into accidents with pedestrians as vehicles not equipped with the safety tech.
How can pedestrians stay safer while out at night?
To keep pedestrians safer at night, the IIHS is working on a test for nighttime pedestrian crash prevention and plans to publish its findings later. Currently, AEB technology is only tested during the daytime with pedestrians, which means developing tests for nighttime hours will involve a variety of lighting conditions and stronger technology to be effective in the dark. The goal is to make sure that the AEB feature can more easily detect pedestrians faster in dark conditions.
The IIHS plans to use technology to its advantage during these tests, including thermal cameras, radars and high-beam headlights. There is also a push for slower speeds on the roads at night at the federal level, which could significantly reduce the severity of injuries even if a pedestrian accident does occur.