Self-driving cars have begun to share the roads throughout the country, while being tested for accuracy and safety. They are not available to the consumer market as of yet, but they have already racked up a higher crash rate than that of human drivers. This begs the question: Are self-driving cars really safe?
The idea behind driverless cars is two-fold. Manufacturers and programmers have teamed together to create a car that is more relaxing. In these cars, individuals can get from one point to another without the stress of traffic, and can even have time to focus on things like their phones, work, entertainment, etc. The reduction of accident rates and removal of the issue of human error from the road is the other primary goal of self-driving car designers. But, after months of test driving, accidents in self-driving cars have doubled in comparison to human drivers. Even when researchers took into account the fact that many accidents, especially minor ones, go unreported, the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute still found the number to be twice as high as that of a human driver.
Why the High Accident Rate?
The reasons for the high accident rate may surprise you. While it is true that their accident rate is twice that of a human driver, it is not because the cars are driving recklessly. Instead, it is because these driverless vehicles are following the law precisely. They follow the speed limit, allow ample space between themselves and other vehicles, and always merge according to driver’s handbooks. Because they follow these rules and safety protocols, however, they are not driving with the flow of traffic. At times, particularly on highways, these self-driving cars even drive 10 to 15 miles per hour less than other vehicles on the road.
Driverless Vehicles Are Not At-Fault
While self-driving vehicles have been involved in numerous accidents, they were not found to be at-fault in the accidents. Instead, it was the other driver. In most of the incidents, the driverless vehicle was struck from behind – oftentimes by a driver who was too aggressive, distracted, or exceeding the speed limit. Most of the accidents were also at slow speeds with no injuries reported.
Will Driverless Vehicles Reduce Accident Rates?
Unfortunately, as long as a self-driving vehicle shares the road with a human-operated vehicle, it is unlikely that they will reduce accident rates or the risk of injury. Because human drivers can be reckless, distracted, and even aggressive on the roads, the benefits of self-driving cars are often undermined. And despite their ability to follow the rules of the road, unless all vehicles sharing the highway and local streets do the same, the accident rate is likely to remain the same or even increase as self-driving cars are released to the market.
Were You Seriously Injured in a Car Accident?
You do not have to be operating a self-driving vehicle to be involved in an accident in Florida. If you were involved in a car accident and suffered from serious injuries, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Hancock Injury Attorneys today to discuss your case. Schedule your free consultation by calling us at 813-915-1110 or chat live online with your questions.