AAA Says Pedestrian Detection Systems Not Effective At Night

The auto club says that’s when most fatal pedestrian accidents occur.


Towson, Md (KM). They come as standard or optional features on 56% of most 2018 vehicles, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.. But the auto club says  these automatic emergency braking systems which contain a pedestrian detection system are not very effective at night.

Spokeswoman Jeannette Tejeda de Gomez says Automobile Club of Southern California, in partnership with AAA, evaluated the performance of four mid-size sedans equipped with emergency braking systems with pedestrian detection systems. They used the scenarios of an adults crossing in front of a vehicle while traveling at 20- to 30-miles per hour during the day, and 25-miles per hour at night; a child darting into the street between two parked cars traveling at 20- to 30-miles per hour; a vehicle turning right on to an adjacent road with an adult crossing at the same time; and  two adults standing on the side of a road with a vehicle approaching at 20- to 30-miles per hour.

“That research showed that the automatic braking system performed inconsistently. They were completely ineffective at night,” says Tejeda de Gomez. “And what’s troubling is a majority of pedestrian fatalities–75-percent of fatalities–occur after dark.”

She also says these systems were ineffective with vehicles traveling at 30-miles per hour.

AAA says motorists should extra caution when traveling at night, and use these pedestrian detection systems as a backup. “You always have to be alert of your immediate surroundings,:” says Tejeda de Gomez. “Don’t rely on the system to prevent a crash. Read your owners manual to understand what the system can actually do for you.”

She also says pedestrians need to be cautious when traveling after dark, especially when crossing the streets.. “To make sure we are looking for vehicles that are coming at us, and not to expect that vehicle will always see us or stop for us,” Tejeda de Gomez says. “To make sure you’re looking both ways, and look back again.”

In addition, AAA says if you jog at night, wear bright clothing and a reflector so that drivers can see you.


By Kevin McManus