Across New York, many people eagerly greet the spring and summer seasons as the warmer weather makes it more enjoyable to be outside. Whether strolling through a shopping district, walking from a parked car to a destination, or going out on a daily run or walk for exercise, pedestrians understandably look forward to this time of year. Unfortunately, sharing the roads with vehicles brings a unique set of challenges when doing so.

2018: A deadly year for pedestrians

According to data from the Governors Highway Safety Association, 2018 saw more pedestrians killed in the U.S. than in almost 30 years. The Verge explains that the growing number of large vehicles on the roads may be a contributing factor to this tragic trend. Taller vehicles are more likely to cause critical injuries if they hit pedestrians, often resulting in severe outcomes.

Technology attempts to help pedestrians

Automakers have been developing and including advanced technology systems in many new vehicle models that focus on improved safety. Some functions these systems provide include detecting pedestrians in a vehicle’s path and automatically stopping the vehicle before any impact occurs. How effective these systems are, however, remains a concern.

Study highlights gaps in safety systems

Consumer Reports explains that one AAA study of some 2019 vehicles equipped with pedestrian detection and automatic braking features produced rather discouraging results. When tests were conducted in nighttime conditions, AAA determined the features to be completely ineffective. In daylight hours at 20 miles per hour, pedestrian dummies were still hit by test vehicles in 60% of scenarios when in a crosswalk.