AAA: New Cars Safety Features Don't Prevent Pedestrian Accidents


Automatic emergency braking systems with pedestrian detection perform inconsistently and are ineffective at night, according to a new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

In other words, the usual causes of pedestrian accidents – distracted driving, running red lights and stop signs, speeding,– are not overcome by new automotive technology.

news release from AAA says the failure of pedestrian warning systems at night is an alarming result, considering that 75% of pedestrian fatalities occur after dark. AAA testing found that when a vehicle turned right into the path of an adult, the safety systems did not react at all, and the test vehicle collided with the adult pedestrian every time.

Stats on NYC Pedestrian Accidents, Injuries and Deaths

The New York State Department of Health says 312 people die each year in pedestrian accidents in New York, on average. Another 3,027 pedestrians on average are hospitalized after being hit by a motor vehicle, and 12,506 go to the emergency room after a pedestrian accident, the department says.

The rates of fatal pedestrian accidents and injuries requiring hospitalization are highest for male victims age 65 and older. Among injured pedestrians who go home after ER treatment, most are young males ages 15 to 24.

Pedestrian deaths in New York City, which account for the largest share of traffic fatalities in the City, increased to 114 in 2018 from 107 in 2017, according to The New York Times. The increase in pedestrian deaths occurred as the overall number of traffic deaths in NYC dropped in 2018 to the lowest level in more than a century.

“Drivers haven’t taken their responsibility to yield very seriously,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told The Times for its January 1, 2019 report.

Across the country, on average, nearly 6,000 pedestrians lose their lives each year, accounting for 16% of all traffic deaths, AAA says. The percentage that has steadily grown since 2010.

New York civil law allows pedestrians who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by negligent drivers to take legal action against the driver responsible for the crash. An experienced NYC pedestrian accident lawyer at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., can review your accident and discuss your rights to seek compensation for your injuries suffered in a pedestrian accident.

More About Pedestrian Detection Failures Found by AAA

AAA tested pedestrian detection systems in automobiles using industry-standard test equipment. The four test vehicles were a 2019 Chevy Malibu, 2019 Honda Accord, 2019 Tesla Model 3 and 2019 Toyota Camry. Researchers tested common scenarios where drivers may encounter pedestrians.

Pedestrian detection systems were significantly challenged in the following simulated scenarios:

  • When encountering a child at 20 mph, a collision occurred 89% of the time. At 30 mph, none of the test vehicles avoided a collision with the child pedestrian.
  • When encountering an adult crossing the road at night, pedestrian detection systems were ineffective.

When encountering an adult crossing the road during the day:

  • At 20 mph, a collision with the pedestrian was avoided 40% of the time.
  • At 30 mph, only one test vehicle avoided collision with the pedestrian in 2 out of 5 runs.
  • When encountering an adult immediately after a right-hand turn, none of the test vehicles avoided a collision with the pedestrian or mitigated the impact speed by slowing down.
  • When encountering two adults alongside the road at 20 mph, a collision occurred 80% of the time. At 30 mph, only one test vehicle avoided a collision with the pedestrian in 1 out of 5 runs.

Until pedestrian accident avoidance technology improve, AAA says, drivers need to remain alert and not rely on pedestrian detection systems to prevent a crash. Drivers need to exercise extra caution when driving at night, because this is the riskiest time for pedestrian collisions.

While a driver has a responsibility to yield to pedestrians in many situations, people traveling by foot must be diligent as well and obey traffic signals. Pedestrians should stay on sidewalks, use crosswalks as often as possible and look both ways before crossing the street.

Causes of and Common Injuries from Pedestrian Accidents

While pedestrian accidents are more likely at night, pedestrian crashes can happen anytime and anywhere in New York City. The typical causes of pedestrian accidents are:

A pedestrian hit by a car is typically injured by the initial impact and then by a secondary impact as he or she is thrown to the ground. A pedestrian may be run over by a car, thrown into the car windshield or pinned between the car and another object, such as a lamppost.

A pedestrian hit by a car or truck may suffer catastrophic, disabling and/or disfiguring injuries, such as:

  • Head and traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injury, including paralysis
  • Hip, pelvis and rib fractures
  • Long-bone fractures
  • Internal organ damage
  • Torn knee ligaments and crushed kneecaps
  • Soft tissue injuries

These injuries require hospitalization, surgery in many cases and convalescence and/or rehabilitation. An injured pedestrian may have a legal right to recover medical expenses, losses from time out of work and compensation for pain and suffering. After a death in a pedestrian accident, surviving family members may have a valid legal claim against a negligent driver.

Call A NYC Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today

If you have been seriously injured in a New York City pedestrian accident that was not your fault, David Resnick & Associates, P.C. may be able to help you recover compensation for your losses. The experienced New York City pedestrian accident attorneys at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., have a track record of getting results in personal injury accidents.

Call our law firm today or use our online contact form to set up a free evaluation of your accident, injuries and potential for a successful accident claim. We assist pedestrian accident victims and their families in ManhattanQueensBrooklynStaten Island, the Bronx and all of New York City.

Author: David Resnick

Founder of David Resnick & Associates, P.C., a New York personal injury law firm in charge of providing exceptional and personal service to each of our clients in various areas including car accidents, slip and fall, wrongful death, construction accidents, and premises liability. David Resnick founded the firm in 1998 after working in large law firms where he saw a need for greater client communication and more personal care.

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