More and more pedestrians die every year. Tragically, most of these accidents or deaths happen in intersections. As a parent or guardian, you can’t help but worry about your safety and that of your loved ones.
On the other hand, even drivers don’t know what to do since accidents can arise even after being careful. Even following the necessary safety regulations on the road, such as reducing the speed whenever approaching an intersection or installing traffic cones.
Below are the top 3 technologies that may prevent pedestrian deaths at intersections.
One of the leading causes of pedestrian fatalities in intersections is driver interruptions. Drivers who lose concentration or fall asleep might cause fatal accidents that may take lives. For this reason, engineers and technologists have been researching ways of keeping drivers alert on the road.
Several experiments that involve bells, vibrating driver’s seats, and audio warnings have been developed to bring back a driver’s attention. They can also wake a driver if they are asleep. Besides the vibrations and sound alerts, the engineers also look for the pulse rate for the warning signs to craft a suitable place for any driver.
The Department of transport is conducting data analysis to determine how the drivers interact with traffic, drive their vehicles, and use the warning signs. Such data will provide a vivid insight on how to best spot unusual behaviors on the road.
There’s no denying that barricades and traffic cones play an essential role in ensuring road safety. Drivers and pedestrians could be exposed to the risk of fatal road accidents weren’t it for road signs and traffic barricades. However, technology can remove the signs and barricades, especially if placed above the roadway and at intersections.
The traffic signal pole at intersections can be replaced with a new “smart” sign. The sign will have LED screens that will show text and graphics to pedestrians and drivers, eliminating the need for stop signs, yield signs, crosswalks, and other road markings.
The screens could also show alerts about accidents or weather conditions ahead. The best part is that the drivers will have direct control of the signs, which would allow for a better flow of traffic and pedestrians.
Smart signs can also be used regardless of the condition of the road. Whether it’s wet, icy, or dark outside, the signs will be able to provide information to both drivers and pedestrians. These signs can also be helpful on rural roads. The intersections on rural roads are more dangerous than those on urban roads. Hence, over 66% of highway fatalities happen at rural road intersections.
Installing high technology flash signs on rural road intersections might go a long way in reducing pedestrian deaths. The drivers can see the signs easily and slow down whenever approaching the said rural intersections.
The adaptive signs could also mitigate the inefficiencies along the intersections and address traffic demands. Such signs provide crucial data that may be used for ensuring that metros are efficient in lowering pedestrian deaths at intersections.
Automatic Emergency Braking
Since accidents arise in split seconds, especially around/near the intersections, vehicle manufacturers have devised that lets the drivers use the maximum braking capacity of the car to avert any imminent crash. Fortunately, a car’s automatic braking system may brake if it doesn’t respond in a critical situation. Automatic emergency braking is usually available in three types.
Low-speed automatic braking is designed for preventing minor injuries such as whiplash. It detects the other vehicles in front as the driver cruises on city streets. On the other hand, high-speed systems can detect a vehicle over 200M away when you are speeding.
The automatic emergency braking also features a system that reduces pedestrian deaths at road intersections. This pedestrian system allows the drivers to avert collision by detecting pedestrian movements based on the car’s direction.
Road accidents and deaths are more concentrated in intersections than other parts of the roads, though they might arise anywhere. Fortunately, technologies like those above can help avert them without relying on traffic cones and signs.
These technologies are currently being refined and will soon be available to the public for purchase. Drivers should, however, note that these technologies may not guarantee their safety 100%. They should always use caution when approaching an intersection.