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How Well Do Autobrakes Really Perform? One Study Shows That Nighttime Performance is Less Than Ideal

How Well Do Autobrakes Really Perform? One Study Shows That Nighttime Performance is Less Than Ideal

In order to address the large proportion of pedestrian accidents that take place on dark roadways, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is proposing a nighttime test of pedestrian automated emergency braking (AEB) systems. The top grade of superior is given to four of the initial 23 midsize cars, midsize SUVs, and small trucks examined, although more than half receive a basic rating or no credit.

According to IIHS President David Harkey, most of these pedestrian AEB systems perform poorly at night. Ford, Nissan, and Toyota all receive higher scores for specific models, proving that automakers are up to the task. Keep reading to learn more about this topic. If you have been injured in a pedestrian car accident, contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 for a free legal consultation.

An expanding issue

In order to get a TOP SAFETY PICK or TOP SAFETY PICK+ award in 2020, IIHS made an advanced or superior rating necessary. The daylight vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluation was introduced by IIHS in 2019. Nearly 90% of the new cars that IIHS examines today include the function, and 50% of the systems evaluated receive outstanding ratings in daylight.

The number of pedestrian deaths continues to climb

The number of pedestrian deaths is steadily increasing. Federal forecasts for 2022 reveal that the number of pedestrian collision deaths has increased by about 80% from 2009, when they were at their lowest point. Nearly 15% of all road fatalities in 2021 were caused by the 7,300 or so pedestrian deaths.

AEB devices are by and large less effective at night

Most pedestrian AEB devices are less effective at night, according to study, when 75 percent of those deaths take place. According to a recent IIHS research, the system reduced pedestrian accidents for all equipped cars by more than 25%. However, on dark, unlit routes at night, there was no difference in collision risk between equipped and unequipped cars. Research studies carried out as part of the creation of the nighttime evaluation also revealed notable performance decreases in low light.

Performance evaluation

Two typical pedestrian collision scenarios—an adult crossing the street and an adult strolling beside the road at the edge of the traffic lane—are included in the nighttime test. Throughout the assessment, the ambient light level around the test track must be below 1 lux, or roughly the same as the light emitted by a full moon.

The third scenario, which was utilized in the daytime test and represented a youngster leaping into the road from between two parked automobiles, is not included in the evaluation. Due to the low number of nighttime pedestrian deaths involving children, the scenario is not included in the study.

The parallel test is run at 25 and 37 mph, while the crossing test is run at 12 and 25 mph. The average speed decreases during five successive test runs on dry pavement are used to determine scores. Scores are altered if the car has high beam assist, a function that turns on the high beams automatically when no other cars are approaching. Separate trials are run with the headlights on high beam and low beam settings.

In 2023, the TOP SAFETY PICK+ designation will no longer be given without receiving an advanced or superior rating in the nighttime test.

How did they do?

Only the superior-rated Pathfinder used both its low and high lights to avoid hitting the pedestrian dummy in both test situations at all test speeds.

In the crossing scenario at both test speeds and in the 25-mph parallel test with both low and high lights, the Camry, Highlander, and Mustang Mach-E, which also receive exceptional ratings, avoided colliding with the dummy. In the 37-mph parallel test, all three cars significantly reduced their speeds while using their high and low lights, reducing the effect.

In the parallel scenario at 37 mph, none of the advanced-rated vehicles were able to prevent collisions. Most vehicles in the 25-mph parallel test and the 12 mph and 25 mph crossing scenarios avoided colliding with the pedestrian by using their high lights. However, most had trouble using their low lights in those conditions.

While several basic-rated cars avoided colliding with the pedestrian dummy at the slower test speeds, none did so in the scenario involving the faster crossing or parallel traffic. In several test situations, the vehicles that did not gain credit for their pedestrian AEB systems either did not slow down at all or barely did so before striking the dummy with both their low and high lights.

Talk to an attorney if you are injured in an accident

If you are injured in an accident, whether while driving, walking, or riding a bike, it is important to talk to a personal injury attorney. You can do so by calling Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 for a free legal consultation.


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