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Self-driving cars can still be dangerous

One of the great hopes surrounding self-driving cars is that they will lessen the danger on Michigan roads by eliminating the possibility of driver error. However, an IIHS survey shows that some of these expectations may be overblown as these vehicles will only reduce car accidents by roughly one-third.

The study reached this result by dividing car accidents into five categories. It concluded that self-driving vehicles will stop car accidents in cases where the driver makes an error in perception or when the driver is incapacitated by alcohol or fatigue. In the rest of the cases, self-driving vehicles are not much of an improvement over existing technology because the designers do not prioritize safety over everything else. It is only when the designers emphasize safety over driver convenience and performance that these cars greatly reduce the risk of a crash.

The dangers of self-driving cars became evident in a 2018 incident on an Arizona road. A self-driving Uber car failed to perceive and anticipate that a pedestrian on the side of the road was going to enter the intersection to cross the street. The vehicle struck and killed her. This incident showed that self-driving vehicles still have a way to go when it comes to safety and accident avoidance. It also reduced the public’s perception that these cars will be the cure for all accidents.

Any type of accident, whether the car is driven by a human or not, can entitle those who are injured to financial compensation. It does not require human negligence to merit payment. An injured victim may want to consult a car accident attorney to learn more about the claims process. The attorney may file the claim on behalf of their client and handle dealings with the insurance company as their injured client seeks a settlement agreement.

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Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC

3049 Miller Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

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