It is well-known that New York City has a high number of pedestrian and bicycle accidents, which is due, in part, because of the high number of pedestrians and cyclists in the city. Even with such foot traffic, motorists have a responsibility to avoid pedestrians and cyclists, keeping them safe from accidents. Sadly, there are still too many pedestrian and bicycle accidents in New York City.
With cyclists and pedestrians in mind, the car manufacturer Volvo is introducing a new bit of safety technology that will help lessen the number and severity of these types of accidents. The technology has not yet made it to the U.S., but it may one day find its way to the streets of New York.
In order to reduce the number of accidents, the new Volvo has a sensor in the front grille of the car that will determine how far the front of the car is to anything in its path. If a camera in the vehicle detects that it is a person, it will automatically brake the car if the driver doesn’t respond to the lights or sounds alerting him or her to an imminent collision. For any vehicle traveling under 21 mph, the vehicle will stop, but a vehicle going at faster speeds will be slowed.
If the car is going to crash, the hood will raise up slightly, allowing the hood to dent instead of causing a more serious impact for the pedestrian or bicyclist. In addition, an airbag will cover part of the windshield, protecting the person outside of the vehicle from smashing into the glass.
It remains to be seen whether this technology will ever be implemented in New York City, but until then, it still remains the driver’s job to protect pedestrians and bicyclists from collisions.
Source: Popular Science, “Volvo’s New Exterior Airbags Protect Pedestrians,” Shaunacy Ferro, Feb. 20, 2013