Washington — Car makers hope new technology can help save lives. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, deadly pedestrian accidents are up 45 percent nationwide since 2009. The Department of Transportation finds the nearly 6,000 killed in 2017 made up 19 percent of all traffic fatalities.
Now IIHS is testing technology it believes could prevent up to 65 percent of pedestrians collisions, cutting deaths by 58 percent.
The technology uses cameras and sensors to warn drivers and, if needed, automatically applies the brakes. The institute tested the system on 11 small SUVs. Nine earned either superior or advanced ratings for avoiding or reducing the severity of collisions at speeds ranging from 12 to 37 miles an hour.
The Subraru Forester and Toyota RAV4 did the best. But the BMW system did so poorly it received no credit at all.
“It either didn’t break or didn’t mitigate the speed enough,” said David Aylor, with IIHS.
IIHS wants the technology to be standard on all vehicles in the near future.