The growing popularity of advanced technologies in new vehicles should give consumers reason to feel more positive about their safety. 

Unfortunately, it seems that pedestrians continue to face significant risks on the road even as more new vehicles roll off the manufacturing lot equipped with features intended to prevent the vehicles from hitting them. 

AAA study highlights technology failures 

The Verge provided an overview of a AAA study that evaluated multiple 2019 vehicles equipped with both pedestrian detection systems and automatic braking features. Despite the focus of these systems being improved pedestrian safety, the results of the study indicate that these features fail to protect foot traffic. 

The best result achieved in the study found adult dummies hit in six out of 10 instances when passing in front of a test vehicle in a crosswalk. The test vehicle in these scenarios drove at 20 miles per hour in daylight conditions. In the same scenario using child-sized dummies, impacts occurred in almost nine out of 10 instances. 

Tests conducted during night conditions led AAA to declare the advanced safety features completely ineffective. 

Pedestrian fatalities on the rise in North Carolina, Virginia 

In 2009, pedestrians accounted for 11.3% of all traffic deaths in North Carolina and 9.8% of all traffic fatalities in Virginia. In 2018, foot traffic represented 15.7% of all people killed in auto accidents in North Carolina and 14.4% in Virginia. 

In both North Carolina and Virginia, the number of pedestrians who died in 2018 was greater than in 2017 despite the fact that the total number of people who died in all vehicular accidents declined at the same time.