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Are Self-Driving Cars Safer than Standard Vehicles?

Posted on December 31, 2015 in

A Lakewood car accident attorney discusses some recent findings about self-driving cars.

For at least six years, some prominent companies – including Google and various automakers – have been working on developing self-driving or autonomous vehicles. While these vehicles are still in the testing phase, they have garnered a lot of attention, especially from researchers who are focused on answering the question titling this blog – are self-driving cars safer than standard passenger vehicles?

Currently, it seems like the preliminary answer to this question would be yes. We’ll point out some facts supporting this conclusion below…

3 Reasons Researchers Say Self-Driving Cars Are Likely Safer than Standard Vehicles

  1. The “critical factor” in about 94% of traffic accidents in the U.S. is a human error – This is according to officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), who have noted that some of the most prominent forms of “human error” that contribute to traffic collisions include distracted driving, impaired driving, fatigued driving and aggressive driving. In contrast, vehicle-related factors (like defective auto equipment) contribute to only about 2 percent of crashes in the nation. By taking the human out of the driver’s seat, many of the sources of human error that cause crashes could be eliminated, some have noted.
  2. Although self-driving cars have been in accidents, they have not caused one of these crashes – In fact, in over 2 million miles of test driving on U.S. roads, Google self-driving vehicles have been involved in 17 “minor” crashes. Not one of these crashes was caused by the self-driving vehicles, however, as other drivers on the road hit the self-driving cars in each of these collisions (with the majority of these crashes being rear-end collisions). This, again, underscores the role of human error in causing traffic wrecks.
  3. Self-driving cars have not been in one fatal crash to date – This means that self-driving vehicles have a zero fatality rate, which stands in marked contrast to standard passenger vehicles that are involved in at least 30,000 fatal crashes each year in the U.S.

These facts, however, should be considered cautiously, some say. That’s because self-driving cars are still very new and have yet to be driven as much as standard vehicles (which rack up about 2 trillion miles on U.S. roads annually) in similar real-world conditions (where poor roads, adverse weather, and other factors commonly cause complications).

What do you think about the safety of self-driving vehicles? Would be eager or reluctant to ride in one of these vehicles? Tell us what you think on Facebook & Google+.

Contact Lakewood Car Accident Lawyer James L. Finegan

Have you been injured in an auto accident? If so, Lakewood Car Accident Lawyer James L. Finegan is here for you, ready to help you advocate your rights to justice and compensation. For more than three decades, our firm has been dedicated to helping the victims of negligence craft the strongest possible cases and bring these cases to successful resolutions.

To learn more about your rights and options for financial recovery, attend a free, no obligations case evaluation with Attorney James L. Finegan. Schedule this meeting by calling (303) 980-5511 or toll free at (888) 980-5511. You can also send an email via the contact form on this page.

From offices based in Lakewood, CO, James L. Finegan, P.C. provides superior representation to clients throughout Jefferson County and the state of Colorado, including those in Denver County, Arapahoe County, Douglas County, Adams County and the Colorado Front Range region.