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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Technology that helps drivers avoid hitting pedestrians is the subject of a new safety study.

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.

“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.

See How The SUVs Scored

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.

The Institute is encouraging manufacturers to equip more cars with the technology and to make it standard.

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