As more new cars, trucks and other passenger vehicles roll off the dealer lots equipped with features designed to keep people safer, many people might be surprised to learn that pedestrian deaths in Georgia increased every year between 2014 and 2018.
At the same time, at least one study focused on safety features intended to prevent or lessen the impact of pedestrian collisions found that some new technologies fail to improve safety as promised.
Georgia’s increasing pedestrian fatalities
Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that pedestrians accounted for 11.8% of Georgia’s total vehicular fatalities in 2009. By 2018, foot traffic represented 17.4% of the state’s total accident deaths.
Another alarming element to fact that pedestrians comprise a greater percent of Georgia’s vehicular deaths is the fact that the total number of people killed in accidents declined. In 2016, the state recorded 1,556 total deaths and 232 pedestrian deaths. In 2017, vehicular deaths totaled 1,540 while pedestrian deaths totaled 253. By 2018, 1,504 people died in accidents across the state, 261 of which were pedestrians.
Advanced safety features not so safe
People shopping for new vehicles in the past few years may notice a surge in the inclusion of technology-powered features and systems. Many of these things focus on making life simpler for drivers or on keeping drivers, passengers and pedestrians safer. Pedestrian detection and automatic braking systems aim to do the latter.
According to The Verge, one AAA study reported on the ineffectiveness of vehicles equipped with pedestrian detection and automatic braking features. In the vast majority of test scenarios, vehicles hit pedestrian dummies.