One out of three vehicle-pedestrian crashes involve a vehicle going straight as a pedestrian crosses the road. Moreover, over the past 10 years, fatalities involving vulnerable road users (pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists), have increased. To get a better understanding of how pedestrian crash avoidance and mitigation (PCAM) systems work, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Volpe Center undertook a study to evaluate them. The Volpe Center analysis found that PCAM technology has the potential to reduce up to 5,000 vehicle-pedestrian crashes and over 800 fatal vehicle-pedestrian crashes annually.
The study, which was sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), analyzed the potential safety benefits of PCAM systems using test data, real-world driver behavior data, and historical crash data to assess safety impact.
“We took real-world pedestrian crash data and track test data from multiple manufacturers’ PCAM systems and quantified a national safety benefit,” said Mikio Yanagisawa, an advanced vehicle technology expert at Volpe.
Studies like these helps NHSTA inform consumers, policymakers and stakeholders about advanced safety features and safety benefits.
It is worth noting that NHTSA previously proposed to enhance the U.S. New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) by adding PCAM and other advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) technologies to be included and rated as part of the overall 5-star rating system. This consumer-focused, voluntary program currently rates crashworthiness systems on a 5-star scale, the ratings are then printed on new vehicle window stickers. Additionally, under the FAST Act, the Congress directed NHTSA to add crash avoidance technology information to these stickers.