Whether out for a daily run, to walk the dog, or simply to get across a parking lot from a parked vehicle into a grocery store, people in Georgia must navigate their way through a sea of cars, trucks, SUVs and other vehicles. Doing this safely often poses challenges.

Pedestrians must pay close attention to vehicles and the actions of drivers to try and prevent being hit. Today, many vehicles include technology features designed to stop them before hitting a pedestrian.

Georgia’s growing pedestrian safety problem

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show a tragic trend when it comes to pedestrian safety in Georgia. In 2009, the state lost 152 human lives in pedestrian accidents. These represented a total of 11.7% of all vehicular fatalities that year.

Fast forward ten years to 2018 and Georgia’s pedestrian fatalities jumped to 261. Those deaths accounted for 17.3% of the state’s total accident deaths that year.

Vehicle safety features not so safe

AAA conducted a study to evaluate the effectiveness of pedestrian detection and automatic braking system technologies. Four vehicle models from 2019 were evaluated in both daylight and night conditions. Test vehicles operated at 20 miles per hour and 30 miles per hour. Adult-sized and child-sized pedestrian dummies were used in the tests.

According to Consumer Reports, none of the systems rated well during night conditions. AAA indicated all to be completely ineffective in these scenarios. In daylight conditions, test vehicles hit youth dummies at least 89% of the time. Adult dummy impacts occurred in anywhere from 60% to 100% of test scenarios.