While overall road safety is improving,
pedestrian accidents continue to rise in the United States. In 2011, pedestrian deaths represented
14 percent of total traffic fatalities. Using these statistics, a pedestrian
was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in a traffic crash.
As we previously discussed on this San Diego Injury Blog, the National
Highway Transportation Safety Administration recently launched a
new safety initiative intended to promote pedestrian safety awareness. The message of the campaign
is “Everyone is a pedestrian.”
Most recently, automakers have also joined the effort by introducing new
technology aimed to deter pedestrian crashes. For instance, Honda has
developed a new safety feature that uses smart phone technology to detect
the presence of a pedestrian in the vehicle’s path.
As described by Automobile Magazine, the new feature uses dedicated short-range
communications (DSRC) technology. If a pedestrian or cyclist with a smartphone
enters the car’s path, the system alerts the driver on a screen
located on the dashboard.
According to Honda, the new feature would be especially useful when a corner,
building, or another vehicle makes it difficult to see the pedestrian
until the last minute. The carmaker also plans to develop a similar system
that would detect motorcyclists.
While the technology is promising, it should never be a substitute for
exercising caution on the roadway. We remind both pedestrians and drivers
to always remain alert of their surroundings and avoid distractions, such
as cell phones, which can dramatically increase the risk of a serious crash.