Designing Cars to Protect Pedestrians

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), “in 2007, 70,000 pedestrians were injured in motor vehicle crashes in this country, and 4,654 pedestrians were killed. Pedestrians comprise about 11 percent of motor vehicle crash deaths each year.”

The IIHS notes that pedestrian crashes can be reduced by

  • Changes in roadway design, including sidewalks, refuge islands, signal phasing, lower vehicle speeds
  • Improvements in vehicle design, including improved bumper design, changing fender/hood design, addition of special detection systems
  • Education programs, especially for children
  • Daylight Savings Time: Adding an hour of light in the evening increases visibility of both pedestrians and vehicles
Volvo S60 stops for pedestrian

The new Volvo S60 automatically detects pedestrians. Photo by Lars Ardarve/Volvo

In an attempt to reduce pedestrian injuries, Volvo developed a car that stops automatically when it senses a pedestrian in its path. Volvo?unveiled its newest S60 sedan at the 2010 New York Auto Show.

More about the Volvo system >>

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