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Self-Driving Cars Are Not 100% Safe

Nichol & Associates, Attorneys at Law July 21, 2020

The popular perception is that self-driving cars will eventually make Tennessee roads completely safe and almost eliminate all traffic accidents. However, recent research reveals that this is only partially true. While self-driving cars should reduce the number of accidents on the road, they may only actually cut roughly one-third of the crashes.

Approximately 90% of car crashes are caused by driver error. With that in mind, the thinking is that self-driving cars would mean that those accidents simply would not occur. However, according to the IIHS, only some of those errors would be addressed by autonomous vehicle technology. Specifically, the errors that would be prevented by a self-driving vehicle fall into the categories of driver perception and incapacitation.

These vehicles can still be subject to making mistakes themselves. For example, last year, a self-driving Uber vehicle was not able to detect a pedestrian and struck and killed her. The car should have been able to identify that she was going to cross the street but did not. The fact is that safety is only one of the considerations when self-driving vehicles are designed. Convenience and speed are also a factor, and that may mean that the car prioritizes certain features that won’t eliminate the risk to passengers and other motorists. To make these vehicles crash-free, advocates say designers will need to prioritize safety over everything else.

Someone who has been hurt in an accident with a self-driving vehicle, or any other car or truck, may be entitled to significant financial compensation for their injury. They may contact a personal injury attorney to learn more about their legal rights. The lawyer could assist them when they file a claim with the insurance company. The attorney might then negotiate a settlement agreement on their behalf with the insurance company or file a lawsuit.