A stronger economy, lower unemployment rates, and better gas prices have put more people on U.S. roadways, causing motor vehicle fatalities to rise by 9% in the first half of 2016. The National Safety Council estimates that 19,100 people have been killed over the road since January, and 2.2 million were seriously injured. What’s more, this Labor Day was predicted to be the deadliest holiday period since 2008, according to the NSC.
Other factors, including distracted driving, have contributed to the rise in over the road accidents. Side collisions with trucks from lane changes have increased on busier highways. Congested urban areas are seeing a rise in struck-by side collisions from turns and lane changes, especially with pedestrians and cyclists. The economy might look rosier, but the roadways do not, especially for the most vulnerable road users—those on foot and bikes.
According to data from the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, about half of all bicyclists and more than a quarter of pedestrians killed by a large truck or bus first make contact with the side of the truck, falling under the truck and into the path of the truck’s rear wheels. These vehicles are usually turning too near an unseen pedestrian or cyclist, or a cyclist is swerving out of the way of an obstruction when impact happens.
Over the course of a recent five-year period, 556 U.S. pedestrians and cyclists were killed by side-impacts with large trucks. While collision mitigation has focused for years on side blind-spot remedies to avoid vehicle-to-vehicle impact, newer preventative measures are being taken to curb the deadliest road crashes: those between large trucks or busses, and pedestrians or bicyclists.
PRECO Electronics has just released the new PreView Side Defender™ radar, our latest collision mitigation technology focused on solving medium to heavy-duty fleet side-impact issues more effectively and intelligently. Side Defender is designed and engineered to detect bicyclists, pedestrians and other vehicles using different detection modes based on the speed at which the truck is moving.
Industry standard CAN bus integration allows Side Defender to read the vehicle’s speed, giving it the ability to operate more intelligently. The driver receives an audible in-cab alert when something is in the truck’s blind zone.
Through the speed detection modules, this groundbreaking technology minimizes nuisance alerts from stationary objects, such as guardrails—while continually monitoring the truck’s blind zones for vehicles or other moving objects—so drivers are more likely to heed rather than ignore the in-cab warnings.
The different intelligent detection modes in Side Defender—including slow-speed side turn assist mode and on-highway mode—compute information based on the speed at which the truck is moving, making driving safer over the road and in congested urban areas. The Side Defender is compact and has a wider and longer field of view for more enhanced object detection. The technology is able to detect and report up to 16 targets, making sensor fusion and telematics integration extremely effective.
Driver display options include an in-cab display and the ability to integrate with LED mirrors. These options, and the intelligent radar, can be customized for OEM applications.
Side Defender radars are designed, engineered and manufactured by PRECO. Side Defender is hardened to operate effectively and reliably in the toughest heavy-duty environments, and comes with a five-year warranty for complete peace of mind.