Over the last several years, people in Mississippi have witnessed a continual introduction of advanced safety features in many new vehicles introduced by auto manufacturers. The goal of these features is, of course, to keep more people safe either by avoiding accidents altogether or minimizing the impact of an accident if it occurs. This may be happening for people inside vehicles but for those outside of vehicles, such as pedestrians or bicyclists, the reality appears to be quite different.
A report by The Verge indicates that fatalities of pedestrians and cyclists are rising while overall vehicular fatalities are declining. Results from one AAA study found that the pedestrian detection alert system in some vehicles failed more than it succeeded as six out of 10 pedestrian dummies were hit by crash test vehicles. These results were noted during daylight hours at low speeds.
Concerns are increasing about the safety features as it is apparent that they do not work well in dark hours. At this time of year especially, a person may go to work in the dark and drive home in the dark. This could negate the benefit of their safety systems a large percentage of their driving time.
Vehicle size is another factor believed to be impacting the increased pedestrian deaths. CNBC explains that when a pedestrian is hit by a large vehicle like a sport utility vehicle versus a small sedan, the impact is often in their chest or head instead of their legs. Impacts to the head may be far more severe than those to the legs.