One danger of in-vehicle safety technologies is drivers may become too reliant upon them. An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer knows it is the job of a driver to avoid striking a pedestrian with a vehicle. Even when a car comes equipped with a pedestrian crash avoidance system, as many new vehicles do today, drivers should not abdicate their responsibility to watch for pedestrians and should exercise reasonable care to avoid hitting them.
In-Vehicle Safety Tech Demonstration Inadvertently Highlights Problems For Pedestrian Safety
While some experts believe electronic safety devices are going to make roads much safer, and suggest self-driving cars could bring accident rates down, a recent "demonstration" designed to highlight a pedestrian crash avoidance system highlighted some of the problems with this theory.
The demonstration was given by a Volvo salesmen, who was trying to show off a pedestrian crash prevention safety feature according to WPXI. People who were interested in buying the cars served as the pedestrians in the demonstration. They stood in the path of the car and took videos and photographs.
Those videos ultimately ended up going viral. Not because they demonstrated a cool new feature of the Volvo, but because they showed what being a human bowling pin was like. The people taking the pictures and video got run over by the car headed toward them.
It turned out the "safety" feature didn't kick in to stop the car from hitting the people because the feature was not even installed on the vehicle being demonstrated. Volvo's pedestrian safety crash prevention technology is an optional, non-standard feature, and the added cost of having this system in the car is $3,000.
Even if the salesmen had chosen a more costly car with a pedestrian crash prevention system installed, the demonstration still would not have been a success and the people still would have been hit. A spokesperson for Volvo said the way the car was being driven would have over-ridden the system. The person giving the demonstration was actually accelerating and driving directly towards the "pedestrians" in his path. When a driver is going towards an object and is accelerating, the pedestrian safety system's automatic functionality is disabled.
The driver, in this case, did not use common sense to see he was about to hit people, but instead he drove into them because he was thinking the car's technology would save him. Fortunately, no one was hurt. If more drivers become reliant on in-vehicle technology in a real world setting, the outcome may be much worse. People could be killed when drivers give responsibility for crash prevention to a fallible technological feature. This is especially true if people don't really understand how the feature works (as this driver clearly did not).
Everyone operating a vehicle remains responsible for protecting pedestrians and other motorists. While crash prevention technologies can serve as an added safeguard, the technology alone should not be depended on at the expense of exercising care and caution at all times while driving.