Crash Avoidance Systems are Dangerous if We Become Comfortable Relying on Them
More and more vehicles come with built-in crash avoidance systems. These include back up cameras that are designed to help you back up by showing you what’s behind your car or SUV. Other avoidance systems are a bit fancier, such as lane detection systems that inform and correct your trajectory should you veer outside of your lane. Sensors can alert you when you’re too close to the bumper of another vehicle. All of these inventions should cut down on the number of motor vehicle accidents, but they don’t. In fact, becoming overly reliant on them can lead to catastrophe.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Study
In February of 2019, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted a study on 11 late-model SUVs that had three pedestrian warning systems. This technology is designed to automatically slow the vehicle down when a pedestrian is spotted either in front of, to the side or behind it. The study evaluated all three systems. A test dummy was placed to the right of the moving vehicle as if it were a person crossing the street. The second had a “small child” (again a test dummy), moving out into oncoming traffic from between two parked cars. Finally, the third had a test dummy standing at the side of the road as if it were walking along with moving traffic. They did not test the backup capabilities of these vehicles.
Shockingly, the crash avoidance systems on these vehicles didn’t perform the way they were designed. Two passed the first test, while two additional ones passed the second and third, respectively. What this shows is that you can’t rely on this technology to avoid hitting pedestrians on the road. The only thing you can do is pay attention to the road.
Faults with Back up Cameras
Testing identified issues with pedestrian avoidance systems, but the vehicle back up cameras aren’t perfect either. Most back up cameras have what is called a “speed max” which means the rate the camera refreshes the view isn’t accurate once you hit a particular speed. Yes, there are some on the market that claim to work at highway speeds, but these aren’t necessarily the ones that come standard in vehicles.
As with any technology, if you begin to rely on it too heavily, you can run into issues with safety and performance. These studies have shown that the newest crash avoidance systems might help, but they are not a replacement for following the rules of the road and paying attention to your surroundings.
If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident caused by someone relying on their crash avoidance system, please contact me. I’ll Make Them Pay!®