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Are Self-Driving Cars The Answer?

I’m personal injury attorney Mike Lombardi.

Can self-driving cars reduce the number of car and motorcycle accidents? We know that driver error is the cause of most car and motorcycle accidents. So, the question is whether autonomous vehicles will provide much-needed solutions for reducing these crashes?

Safety Pros

With all the hype about self-driving cars, we all hope that the number of car and motorcycle crashes will decrease dramatically. However, a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that the current technology will only reduce 34 percent. They studied more than 5,000 crashes separating those caused by sensing and perceiving errors such as driver distraction, impeded visibility, or failing to spot hazards until it was too late. They also separated accidents caused by human incapacitation, such as drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol, sleepy drivers, and medical problems. The results showed that automated cars could help prevent accidents caused by incapacitated drivers and are usually successfully programmed to identify traffic hazards. 

Safety Cons

However, where the self-driving car fails is in “predicted errors,” the incorrect driver efforts to avoid an accident. Examples of these types of failures include misjudging other vehicles’ speed and not taking poor road conditions into account. The cars also were not successful at perceiving what was around them. If a motorcycle, for example, swerved into their path, as they are programmed right now, they wouldn’t maneuver quickly enough to avoid the crash. The conclusion was that many of their decision-making and performance making skills still need a lot of work.
A large part of these failures is due to the conflict in programming that exists in the cars. Manufacturers are designing them with the focus on rider preference, not safety. If these vehicles are to eliminate car and motorcycle crashes, they will have to be specifically programmed to prioritize safety over the users’ need for speed and convenience.

Unfortunately, accidents still happen even if you do everything right. If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, please give me a call or text me at Mike Lombardi Injury Attorneys to discuss your case. We want to help you in any way can.



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