Driverless vehicles, or self-driving cars, have already been on the roads. Currently Google and other programmers of these vehicles are testing their effectiveness and of course, their safety. While these cars are advertised as a way to keep other drivers safe, the crash avoidance systems they feature and their overall safety conscious programming could actually lead to more accidents – or at least that is what has been seen thus far in testing.
In a recent report released by Insurance Journal, driverless cars were in more accidents than human drivers – almost double. This data is certainly perplexing – especially as these vehicles are advertised as the new wave of auto safety. But, the issue is not the cars – it is the drivers they are sharing the roads with.
According to the article, driverless vehicles obey the law – and that is the biggest reason they are having an increased number of accidents. Most drivers on the road will exceed speed limits – whether by just five miles or well over 10 miles per hour. Also, drivers are aggressive and in high-traffic situations they know how to react – and sometimes that may require not having the proper following distance between two vehicles. Driverless vehicles don’t have the capability to ignore the law. So, if there isn’t adequate distance between vehicles to safely merge onto the highway, they will slow or stop altogether. Also, they follow the speed limits and in some cases go under the limit.
By following the law, self-driving cars have been in a high volume of accidents, but what is interesting is the fact that none of those accidents were caused by the self-driving vehicle. Instead, the other driver caused the accident. In most instances, the driverless vehicles were rear-ended by speeding, distracted or overly aggressive drivers.
The issue for manufacturers and programmers alike is how to handle the issue of self-driving cars and their obeying the law. While they should obey the law, doing so tends to cause more accidents. Programmers feel that this ethical question isn’t a question at all – and they will not program these vehicles to ignore safety protocols just to fit in with other vehicles.
Unfortunately, self-driving vehicles will likely pose a risk as long as they are sharing the road with other driver-operated vehicles. Also, programmers still need to find a way to ensure driverless vehicles properly react in life-and-death situations – something they have yet to figure out.
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, contact the Law Offices of Kevin J. Roach, LLC today. You do not have to be in an accident with a driverless vehicle to have a potential claim and you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, property damage and pain and suffering. To find out if you have a viable suit, contact our attorneys for a free consultation. Schedule yours now at 866-519-0085. You can also ask a question to an attorney via our online contact form.