Pedestrian deaths spike across U.S.

| Oct 27, 2020 | Car Accidents

Pedestrian detection systems and automatic braking systems are two features commonly touted in new vehicles by automotive manufacturers.

Despite claims that these technologies may improve safety, more pedestrians are dying on roads across the United States.

Pedestrian fatalities increase nationwide

The Governors Highway Safety Association indicates that statistics from the first six months of 2019 show 6,590 pedestrians were killed last year in America, representing a 60% increase in foot traffic death since 2009. In that same time, other accident deaths increased by 2%. The 2019 pedestrian fatalities also represent a 5% increase from the prior year.

Some experts believe the growing number of large passenger vehicles, like SUVs, on American roads may contribute to the rise in pedestrian fatalities.

Pedestrian fatalities in Oklahoma

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 32 pedestrians died in Oklahoma in 2009, representing 4.3% of all traffic deaths that year. In 2016, Oklahoma recorded 88 pedestrian deaths, accounting for nearly 13% of all vehicular fatalities. Pedestrian deaths declined slightly the next two years but the state still lost 60 pedestrian lives that year, amounting to 9.2% of all accident fatalities.

Advanced safety features fail more often than succeed

AAA conducted research evaluating pedestrian detection and automatic braking systems in multiple vehicle models. Tests conducted at night, when the majority of pedestrian fatalities happen, returned such poor results that AAA declared these technologies completely ineffective.

In daytime tests with an adult pedestrian dummy crossing in front of a vehicle, the dummy was hit by the vehicle six out of 10 times. Tests with child-sized pedestrian dummies returned even worse results.

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