October 8, 2010
Pedestrian safety is a rising concern in Australia - both in and out of the car. According to the NSW's Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA), from the 12 months ending in September 2010, there have been 63 fatalities involving pedestrians in NSW alone.
During 2009, Victoria's Transport Accident Commission (TAC) reported that 50 pedestrians were killed on Victorian roads. Of these, 66 percent were on a road with speed limits of 50km/h or 60km/h. And half were a result of the pedestrian crossing the road.
Sir Isaac Newton's theory of gravity states that an object accelerates in the direction the force is moving it, meaning the faster the speed you are travelling the more impact you will have when you hit someone or something.
The RTA states that if you hit someone while you are travelling at 40km/h, 25 percent of pedestrians will die. Increase your speed to 60km/h and 85 percent will die.
While the main message to motorists here is to slow down, Swedish motoring company Volvo has taken the matter into their own hands by developing Pedestrian Avoidance Technology (PAT). This new technology is reported to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents by up to 85 percent and will be built into Volvo's new S60 car, due to be released in December.
A camera installed in the windscreen and radar installed in the grill of the car will monitor your surroundings and notify you when a person is in the way or nearby, and it will reportedly detect a pedestrian before you do. If you don't respond, the brakes automatically slow the car down in order to help you prepare to stop and avoid the person. The system is designed to detect people and more importantly children, who stand 80cm or taller.
The car also has additional safety features installed such as the Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) anti-spin system which identifies any possibility of skidding. If breaking occurs in wet weather, the car's engine drag control should avert the car from losing its grip and give the driver more control and avoid any sliding or slipping.
Peace of mind
But while this type of technology is terrific, it may not stop you from losing control and hitting a tree or other objects. Ensure you have the right level of car insurance by comparing comprehensive car insurance quotes online for peace of mind. At least if you were to hit or scrape something whether it is a pole, a tree or (heaven forbid) a person you can rest assured that most damage to your car will be covered and is one less thing you have to think about when you're on the road.