New Study Shows That Self-Driving Cars Will NOT Make Roads Safer

Imagine a future in which you don’t have to drive. You climb into a vehicle, plug in your destination, and then sit back and relax, fully confident that you will arrive safely and intact. Unfortunately, that future is further away than tech enthusiasts want to believe.

The advent of self-driving cars came with the promise that vehicular fatalities would soon become a thing of the past. A new study from the Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that out of 5,000 crashes analyzed; robocars would only have been able to prevent a third of them. This is because self-driving technology, while incredible, is still limited. The prevention of nearly 1,700 accidents is still lifesaving, so let’s take a look at what types of accidents self-driving cars can prevent and which models they are not equipped to handle.

When can a self-driving car prevent an accident?

  • Self-driving cars can take over when a driver is intoxicated. Driving under the influence is incredibly dangerous, but with self-driving cars, an intoxicated pilot can get to his or her destination safely.
  • Self-driving vehicles can help drivers with visual impairments. What if your contact lens falls out at a party or you accidentally smash your glasses? No worries. Your self-driving car can get you home.
  • Self-driving cars can sense impending errors from distracted drivers. A self-driving car will not let you drift out of your lane and into another vehicle.

When is a self-driving car not enough?

  • Self-driving cars are unable to judge their surroundings. They cannot tell how fast another vehicle on the road is traveling, and thus are unable to prevent collisions caused by another speeding driver. 
  • Self-driving cars cannot plan for errors. Have you ever panicked and jerked the wheel a little too sharply? It is a widespread reaction, but it is not something that a self-driving car can account for.
  • Self-driving cars cannot always react fast enough when something unexpected happens, like a biker veering into your lane.

So while self-driving cars are the way of the future, we have not yet arrived. If you or a loved one are involved in an accident with a self-driving vehicle, call our law firm in Los Angeles and West Covina for legal help and support. 

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