MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Technology that helps drivers avoid hitting pedestrians is the subject of a new safety study.READ MORE: Former Sen. Bill Nelson Testifies At Senate Confirmation Hearing For NASA’s Top Job
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded nine out of eleven small SUV models high marks.
“In 2017 alone there were almost 6000 pedestrian deaths, said David Ayor, IIHS active safety testing manager.
The IIHS says pedestrian fatalities are up 45-percent since 2009 and reducing these kinds of crashes is a top priority.
The was their first time testing pedestrian auto-brake systems on small SUVs. A camera and radar technology detects people on foot, alerts the driver, and applies the brakes if the driver doesn’t.
The highest marks went to the 2018-19 Honda CR-V, the 2019 Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4, and the Volvo XC40.READ MORE: Shortage Of Restaurant Workers Across South Florida, Nation Has Owners Offering Incentives
“The most effective way to prevent injuries and fatalities is to avoid the crash completely. These systems warn the driver and either mitigate or avoid a crash with a pedestrian,” said Aylor.
Some of the most common pedestrian hazards were tested including an adult entering the street in the path of a vehicle and a child darting into traffic from between parked cars.
Aylor said the worst test results went to the BMW X1.
“It either didn’t break or didn’t mitigate the speed enough for us to give it points,” he said.MORE NEWS: 'He Was Florida Through And Through': Congressional Leaders Hold Celebration Of Life For Late Rep. Alcee Hastings
The Institute is encouraging manufacturers to equip more cars with the technology and to make it standard.