The shortage of skilled forklift operators has become a major concern in the industry due to the increasing demand for e-commerce. While some companies rely on automated systems, most warehouses still use regular forklifts operated by humans. This, however, can lead to a higher risk of accidents and injuries, especially regarding pedestrian safety.

Statistics from the National Safety Council (NSC) show that almost 80% of forklift accidents involve pedestrians. Forklift accidents that involve pedestrians result in the highest median days away from work (18 days) compared to other forklift-related events. To address this issue, it’s important to identify the common causes of accidents, review the current state of accident prevention, and explore future solutions.

Forklift collision in the warehouse, image focus on the front of forklift and a yellow construction helmet

There are three main categories of forklift pedestrian accidents: driver-attributed accidents, environmental factors, and careless behavior by pedestrians. To prevent these accidents, companies have adopted various approaches, such as training courses, safety devices, and physical barriers. However, these measures are passive and do not provide drivers with the necessary alerts to prevent collisions in real-time.

Technology-driven solutions, such as proximity sensors and AI-driven collision avoidance systems, can help reduce pedestrian accidents by enabling collision alerts and gathering data to identify risky behavior and environmental factors. Proximity sensors use magnetic fields or ultra-wideband to detect proximity between mobile equipment, fixed objects, or people. However, the setup can be complex, and there is a need to ensure all personnel wear the sensors.

three workers in a warehouse and one of them operating a forklift

AI-driven collision avoidance systems are rapidly evolving technology that can be installed in the vehicle itself to capture the surrounding environment and alert the driver when it detects people approaching the vehicle. One of the biggest advantages of AI vision is that there is no need for anyone to wear on-person sensors. The system detects anyone who comes within the hazardous range of the forklift and sounds an alarm for the driver to take corrective action. Additionally, dangerous incidents can be recorded for further analysis.


As AI technology continues to progress, cloud-connected AI-driven collision avoidance systems are becoming increasingly sophisticated. These systems are set to revolutionize the way companies approach forklift safety by allowing for a more proactive approach toward preventing accidents and enhancing overall safety. With these advanced systems in place, companies can easily monitor and analyze data in real-time to identify potential hazards and take appropriate measures to minimize risks.

If you are interested in learning more about the VIA Mobile360 Forklift Safety System, book a free consultation now.