New accident statistics demand increased pedestrian safety

Road safety refers to much more than just drivers and their passengers. While a range of different technologies and safety campaigns address the dangers of vehicle-to-vehicle collisions, there's a whole other dimension to these concerns that's just as important. 

159 pedestrians were killed in car accidents last year.

According to statistics from the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, 159 pedestrians were killed in car accidents last year. Although this is a notable decrease over 2011's figure of 184, it's 10 more incidents than 2014. 

Thankfully, the future is looking somewhat brighter in this regard, with car safety systems getting smarter and more capable of avoiding different accident types.

Car safety technology keeps pedestrians safe

The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) recently tested two new vehicles which provide an illustration of what fleet managers can expect from modern vehicles in the coming years. Now, many advanced safety features are offered as standard equipment on new cars, reinforcing how valuable it is to keep a fleet up to date.

As with driver and passenger protection features, pedestrian safety systems are shifting their focus to preventative methods as well. Additions such as an active bonnet - where this part of the car raises in a collision - reduce the impact of these incidents, hopefully limiting pedestrian injury. 

This recent ANCAP test focussed on the Jaguar XE and Mercedes GLC, two vehicles which CEO James Goodwin states indicate where the future of car safety is headed. 

"These vehicles further demonstrate we are entering a new era of vehicle safety where the standard inclusion of safety assist technologies such as Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) will help to eliminate or reduce the severity of a crash," he explained. 

How will new cars protect pedestrians?How will new cars protect pedestrians?

Will these systems advance further?

Autonomous emergency braking has evolved to the point where manufacturers can comfortably release it as standard on new vehicles, a fact that contributed to the five-star scores as described above. However, detecting a collision between two vehicles is one thing, but can these systems prevent collisions with much smaller objects as well?

Toyota's Pre-Collision Detection System has been augmented with the ability to intervene in cases where drivers are at risk of hitting a pedestrian. According to the Japanese marque, this is made possible through the combination of a millimetre-wave radar and the car's existing Pre-Collision Detection System. 

On top of this, infra-red technology in the headlights ensures these systems are just as effective at night. 

With Ford and many other manufacturers also releasing their own equivalents of the technology, the roads are about to become a much safer place for all who use them.