|With road fatalities increasing by 10.5% from 2020 to 2021, safety advocates are looking for causes. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has begun a nighttime test of vehicles that use automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems to address the high percentage of pedestrian crashes that occur on dark roads.
“As we expected, most of these pedestrian AEB systems don’t work very well in the dark,” says IIHS President David Harkey. You heard that right, out of the 23 brands of mid-sized cars and trucks, only 4 scored the highest rating of “superior” by the IIHS. When the same testing was done in daylight, 19 of the 23 vehicles received the highest score.
While pedestrians are the focus of this study, motorcyclists are rightly concerned. All too often, motorists assume the technology in their cars is perfect and rely too heavily on it. This study shows that this new technology is far from flawless!
Motorcyclists are operating at higher rates of speed, with a different profile, and in closer proximity to other vehicles than pedestrians or other roadway users. If a car, with this new technology, can’t see a pedestrian walking across the street at night directly in front of them, can it see a biker in the lane next to them?
This is one of the many topics we will discuss at the MRF’s upcoming Meeting of the Minds in Des Moines, Iowa, September 21-25. To learn more about the MRF and the Meeting of the Minds click here.
To read about the IIHS study and see which vehicles were not up to the IIHS standards, click here.