In March 2018, in the state of Arizona, the first death of a pedestrian under the wheels of a vehicle equipped with an automatic braking system in the face of obstacles was recorded. The tragedy occurred during the dark hours of the day, and under the wheel of the Uber prototype came a woman crossing the road in an unpaved place with a bicycle.
According to Reuters, representatives of the Road Safety Insurance Institute announced the results of their tests involving 23 models of vehicles offered in the United States market. All vehicles were equipped with some kind of systems designed to prevent pedestrian hits, but 12 of them either obtained a basic safety rating against this criterion or did not receive it at all. These vehicle models were unable to slow down adequately when pedestrian dummies appeared in front of them at dark hours. It is noteworthy that of the 12 failed models in the dark, 8 were able to obtain a normal safety rating from a light-day test.
American insurers tested sedans, medium-sized SUVs and light pickup trucks on the local market. In some cases, the same brand showed different results. For example, the Nissan Pathfinder crossover of the current model year was rated "precedently" and the Altima sedan of the same brand failed the tests.
According to IIHS, the number of pedestrian fatalities increased steadily by 13% last year, killing 7,342 people in the U.S. and increasing by 80% compared to the historical minimum of 2009. According to experts, the deterioration of statistics could have been affected by changes in pedestrian speed and behaviour, as well as by an increase in the share of larger vehicles in the country ' s vehicle fleet. From the 2023 model year, IIHS plans to introduce mandatory certification of pedestrian impact prevention systems according to its own programme, and the highest safety recommendation will be given only to those vehicles that receive a "highest" or "highest" rating from a dark-day test.