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Self-driving vehicles are not a road safety panacea

On Behalf of | Jun 30, 2020 | Blog, Car Accidents |

You have likely been told that self-driving cars will bring complete safety to California roads as all driver mistakes that lead to accidents will be eliminated. However, a study by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety has found that self-driving cars will only eliminate some of the car accidents and are not designed with only safety in mind.

Self-driving vehicles only prevent 34% of accidents

The IIHS has found that roughly only one-third of accidents could be prevented by this new technology. These are the accidents that are caused by errors in driver perception as well as the accidents caused by driver incapacitation. The issue is that these vehicles are not solely designed with safety in mind. If that were the case, perhaps accidents could be more greatly reduced. However, designers must also factor in performance and driver preferences.

A recent accident shows some of the limitations of these cars

Some of the dangers of self-driving vehicles became evident in a 2018 incident in Arizona where a woman was struck and killed by a self-driving vehicle. She was standing on the side of the road, and the car was not able to identify her as a pedestrian when she went to cross the street. This shows that there can be shortcomings in the technology that can still put other drivers and pedestrians at risk. Designers still need to focus more on safety when building these vehicles in the future.

If you have been struck by a self-driving car as a pedestrian or a motorist, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries. Even if the car was not actually being driven by someone, both the owner of the vehicle as well as the designer may be held accountable. You should contact a personal injury lawyer to learn more about your legal rights and what you must do in order to receive payment for your injuries.