Pedestrian Crash Avoidance/Mitigation (PCAM) technologies result in 18.7 percent reduction in pedestrian injuries.

Analysis of national crash databases from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

Nationwide; United States

Summary Information

This paper by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) used analysis of the national crash databases from 2005 to 2009 to provide simple estimates of the potential safety benefits of pedestrian crash avoidance/mitigation systems (PCAM) in light vehicles. These systems use forward-looking sensors, typically RADAR and/or cameras, to issue driver warnings, provide brake assist, or apply autonomous braking to avoid or mitigate the injury severity of an imminent crash with a pedestrian. Four recommended scenarios using PCAM systems were identified and evaluated for safety benefits.


Potential safety benefits are expected from the ability of the PCAM-equipped vehicle to avoid and mitigate crashes by a reduction in vehicle speed. The potential annual safety benefits were calculated by multiplying the following three items:
  1. Annual value of harm measure in target crash scenario (i.e. vehicle moving forward and striking the pedestrian by the front end in the first harmful event).
  2. Ratio of harm value in PCAM-applicable crash scenario (i.e., driver did not apply the brakes and the vehicle remained in control prior to striking the pedestrian) over harm value in target crash scenario.
  3. PCAM effectiveness in reducing annual harm measure.


The 2009 smoothed data for the weighted Pedestrian Crash Data Study (PCDS) cases in the S1 scenario showed a total of 843 pedestrians in the PCAM-applicable crash scenarios who sustained injuries at Maximum Abbreviated Injury Scale (MAIS2+) according to the (General Estimates System) GES. The ratio of harm was .36 and the system effectiveness was 52 percent. This resulted in a total potential safety benefit estimation of 158 compared to 843 pedestrians, a 18.7 percent reduction in injuries.

The analysis was based on a simplified methodology and limitations in the data analysis due to small sample sizes, unknowns in the data, etc., can be addressed in future research with modifications such as adding additional crash years, imputing variables, etc. to provide more accurate results.

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Target Crashes and Safety Benefits Estimation Methodology for Pedestrian Crash Avoidance/Mitigation Systems

Author: Mikio Yanagisawa, Elizabeth Swanson and Wassim G. Najm

Published By: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Source Date: 04/01/2014



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Benefit ID: 2014-00976