A viral video showed there are risks associated with relying on a pedestrian crash prevention system. An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer knows these systems are becoming more common. Technologies intended to prevent cars from hitting pedestrians are a good thing and can help reduce deaths among pedestrians by reducing the chances a distracted driver won't see and stop for someone walking.
The problem is, people will become too reliant on the systems and may misunderstand how they work. This can lead to drivers becoming more careless, and pedestrian accident rates rising instead of falling.
Viral Video Shows Problems of Relying on Anti-Crash Technologies
A video was made of a Volvo demonstration. A salesman was trying to show off the car's pedestrian accident avoidance technology to potential buyers. The buyers were standing in the path of the car recording the demonstration and taking pictures.
The video ended up showing those drivers being hit by the vehicle and knocked over. No one was hurt, but WPXI reported the people looked as if they were human bowling pins when the car struck them.
There was one simple reason technology didn't work in this case: the technology was not actually installed in the vehicle. The salesmen didn't check to make sure the car he chose for the demonstration included the optional pedestrian collision avoidance system, which is an upgraded feature with a cost of $3,000.
Volvo was asked about the incident and indicated even if the car had the pedestrian crash avoidance system installed, it would not have helped and the people standing in the car's path would have been hit anyway. The driver was accelerating, and the way in which he was driving would have over-ridden and disabled the system designed to brake when the vehicle detects pedestrians in its path.
In-vehicle crash prevention systems are designed to work in a certain way, with pedestrian systems usually detecting people and hitting the brakes. If drivers don't understand how they work, drivers may expect the system to prevent an accident in certain situations even as they do something to disable the feature or prevent it from operating normally. Too many motorists may be unaware of exactly what safety features they have installed or how those safety features operate.
Another issue is the over-reliance on safety features. The driver trying to demonstrate the system assumed it would work and did not stop for the people standing in his way. Other drivers in real-world settings may also feel they don't have to exercise common sense to avoid crashes if they can rely on their cars to do it for them. This can make accidents more likely to happen since technology is not infallible.
Drivers remain responsible for protecting pedestrians, regardless of whether their cars promise to provide this protection or not. In-vehicle safety technologies should be a supplementary safety feature and shouldn't take over for a driver in preventing crashes.