Source Volkswagen post

HERNDON, Va. — As American streets have grown more crowded, the risks to pedestrians, cyclists and others who share those streets has increased as well. In the United States in 2019, a pedestrian was killed every 85 minutes in a traffic crash. This astonishing statistic must be addressed, and Volkswagen (VW) has been taking the initiative to do so.

To help address pedestrian-related trends, automakers, academic institutions and government agencies including law enforcement in Michigan formed the Vulnerable Road Users Injury Prevention Alliance (VIPA). VIPA, which includes Volkswagen Group of America as a founding partner, is dedicated to gathering and studying detailed data on pedestrian safety to help find ways to reduce pedestrian-related collisions, as pedestrians are referred to as “vulnerable road users” by VIPA safety researchers.

Using Michigan as a focus, VIPA built two key databases to help researchers. The first monitors samples from police-reported crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists, and, when possible, matches with injury data from treating hospitals. The second provides a reconstruction of selected crashes, with in-depth pre-crash, vehicle, and medical data, to help find trends that could potentially lead to better pedestrian and bicyclist protection.

Jason Gainey, Senior Manager of Vehicle Safety and Compliance for Volkswagen Group of America’s Vehicle Safety Office, says VIPA provides unique insights and is one of the only sources of such data in North America.

“Real-world data like this plays a crucial role in determining how policymakers and the industry can better protect pedestrians, cyclists and other road users,” Gainey said. “It gives us insights to better understand the problem, why and how these collisions with pedestrians are happening and what can be learned to help improve our vehicle designs to prevent, or at least minimize the severity of the interaction between pe Additionally, Dr. Stewart Wang of VIPA spoke about how to provide that data: “Our main goal with this project is to provide actionable data to improve vehicle design and safety-enhancing features for vulnerable road users.” He says that the data will be used by the “Automotive engineers, policy makers, and transportation planners [who] need unbiased, real-world, representative data upon which to make safety-enhancing design decisions to best protect vulnerable road users.” The data is routinely accessed and referred to by Volkswagen in its pursuit to help make pedestrians safer.destrians and vehicles in the future.”

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