Is anything being developed to minimize pedestrian and bike accidents?
Yes! I am pleased and proud to announce that both Toyota and Volvo have new initiatives to increase safety and minimize accidents involving pedestrians and bicycles, some of which were covered in the blog two weeks ago, with the introduction of the new Volvo S90.
Let me start by telling you a bit about the magnitude of these types of accidents.
Large animals have been responsible for far too many deaths or accidents in the U.S.
• An estimated 1.2 million deer-vehicle collisions occurred in the U.S. each year, costing more than $4 billion in vehicle damage, according to State Farm Insurance.
• The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) noted that deer-vehicle collisions in the U.S. cause about 200 fatalities annually.
• Deer collisions usually occur most often in the fall during deer migration. In states outside of New England, other large animals, such as moose, are responsible for additional crashes and fatalities.
Accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists are increasing, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
• This organization claims that pedestrian deaths rose 10% in 2015; motorcycle deaths by 9%; and bicyclists by 13%.
• NHTSA estimates that an automatic braking system is not a substitute for driver attention; however, automatic pedestrian braking systems are very helpful.
To minimize theses types of accidents, Volvo offers its new pedestrian and animal detection system. The Volvo S90 and XC90 have this powerful feature, which detects pedestrians, cyclists and — in a world’s first—large animals on the road, such as deer or moose. This safety system operates in both day and night, offering drivers peace of mind while on the road.
The way it works is that the vehicle uses cameras, radar and infrared sensors to detect living objects in the car’s path of travel. The vehicle will warn the driver and, if necessary, automatically brake if the driver doesn’t intervene. Now that is amazing!
The Volvo S90 also offers “city safety technology.” This enables the Volvo S90 to detect whether there’s a collision risk if a driver is approaching slower moving or stationary vehicles from behind. This is great for distracted drivers who don’t always pay attention.
Toyota is among a select number of vehicle manufacturers that have entered into an agreement with the NHTSA to make front automatic emergency braking systems standard by 2022. While many people might be concerned that autonomous vehicles (self-driving) are dangerous; they are actually safer vehicles because the human errors have been eliminated. (Volvo has been working on and testing autonomous vehicles in Europe.)
Somewhat similar to the Volvo system, this is designed to include protection for pedestrians and bicyclists. Toyota is promising to have a system that includes pedestrian detection standard on most of its models by the 2018 model year.
Toyota has launched a strategy that will bring automatic braking to most of its lineup, not just the premium vehicles. The technology will be a relatively low-cost ($300 to $635) option for the RAV4 Hybrid SUV, but Toyota hopes to have it available or included in nearly all of its models by the end of 2017-2018. It’ll be easy to find in the near future, too. The Avalon sedan is next in line for this innovative braking system.
Watch for these exciting and safe vehicles. We have a limited number of Volvos with these features at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota and I’m sure we’ll be among the first to get the new Toyota vehicles in when they are available. Come in for a test-drive.