Many people in North Carolina relish the time of their day when they lace up their shoes and maybe even leash up the dog and head outside for a walk or a run. In most situations, this would be heralded as an activity good for one’s health. However, when it comes to navigating and sharing the streets with cars, the story changes quickly.

Pedestrian fatalities rise in North Carolina

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show a dangerous trend when it comes to pedestrian safety. In 2009, there were 146 pedestrian fatalities across the state. In 2018, that number jumped to 225. The 146 deaths in 2009 represented just over 11% of all vehicular fatalities that year. In contrast, the 225 deaths in 2018 accounted for 15.6% of the state’s accident deaths.

Pedestrian safety systems in vehicles not sufficient

Consumer Reports indicates that many new vehicles are rolling off the dealer lot today equipped with technologies designed to prevent pedestrian accidents. Unfortunately, it seems from one AAA study that these features have a long way to go if they really hope to save lives.

The best result achieved in the study still resulted in a pedestrian dummy being hit 60% of the time. These results involved an adult-sized pedestrian dummy in a crosswalk and a test vehicle driving at 20 miles per hour in daylight conditions. Tests conducted in nighttime driving conditions resulted in AAA rating the pedestrian detection systems and automatic braking systems as being completely ineffective. When a child-sized dummy was used, it was hit 89% of the time at 20 miles per hour.