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Boston Drivers Can’t Depend on Technology to Prevent Pedestrian Crashes

Will crash avoidance systems and other in-vehicle technologies help reduce traffic collisions? This is a hotly debated question. One recent video intended to demonstrate a pedestrian accident avoidance system suggests crash rates may not decline and, perhaps, may even increase.

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An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer knows car crashes involving drivers and walkers often happen because of human error, and technologies designed to detect pedestrians could help reduce chances of this occurring. Still, over-reliance on these technologies could become dangerous and actually end up making conditions much worse.

Over-Reliance on Crash Protection Technologies Could Endanger Pedestrians

There are lots of different kinds of crash prevention systems in vehicles, but one of the most important could be crash prevention technology targeted towards avoiding pedestrians. Pedestrians have largely been left out of the decline in auto accident deaths as this decline has been driven by improvements to airbags and other safety features cushioning the blow when a crash happens in a motor vehicle. Since pedestrians can't benefit from technologies designed to reduce collision impact, their best hope is technologies to stop motorists from striking them.

Volvo is one of many car makers to put a pedestrian protection system in its vehicles. A salesmen decided to demonstrate this system recently but the demonstration ended up illustrating something very different than he intended.

Several potential buyers present to watch the demonstration served as pedestrians, whom the crash-prevention technology was supposed to help the driver avoid. The pedestrians stood right in the path of the vehicle and took pictures as the car moved towards them. They waited for the car to stop, but it did not - instead, it hit them. The video of them being knocked over went viral and WPXI suggests the reason why it was so widely watched is because it gave a glimpse of what being a "human bowling pin" would be like.

What went wrong and what does it mean? The first problem was, the pedestrian crash avoidance system wasn't even installed in the car the salesmen was using to demonstrate it. The pedestrian crash avoidance system is an optional $3,000 upgrade not included on the vehicle. The second issue is the way the driver was operating the vehicle would have disabled the system anyway. A Volvo spokesperson said the pedestrian crash avoidance system would not have stopped the car when the driver was intentionally accelerating the vehicle towards the people standing in its path.

The video illustrated two problems. People won't always understand how crash avoidance technologies work and people are likely to become over-reliant on them. A driver should not count on anything but his own careful driving and common sense to avoid hitting other people or motorists - especially if the driver is not 100 percent sure how a safety technology designed to stop accidents will actually work.

 

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If you were injured or a loved one was injured or killed in an accident in Boston, Worcester, Springfield or Holyoke, a personal injury lawyer can fight to help you obtain compensation you deserve. At the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone, serving Massachusetts, our personal injury attorneys have an impressive record of trial verdicts and settlements.