Doubts About the Safety of Self-Driving Car Technology

Doubts About the Safety of Self-Driving Car Technology

Doubts About the Safety of Self-Driving Car Technology

I’m Ed Smith, a self-driving car accident lawyer in Sacramento. An autonomous car hit and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona, on March 18. This is causing many individuals to worry about how safe these high-tech cars really are. Today we are going to explore the safety of self-driving cars and whether or not this new technology will be widely accepted.

Fear of New Inventions

New technologies, dating back to the introduction of the motor vehicle, have been a source of worry. When motorized cars took over from horse-drawn carriages, it was said that the horse itself was instrumental in getting a passenger home safely. Without it, many feared that more accidents would happen. However, as with many new inventions, convenience pushed worry out of the way.

Safety Is Often About Control

In 2017, there were no jetliner crashes that killed flyers, according to Reuters. It was the safest year in aviation since records were kept. Some fatalities did occur on turbo-powered planes and cargo planes though, and this resulted in a fatality ratio of seven deaths per million airplane flights. In 2016, there was one death for every 3.2 million miles traveled.

Compare this to motor vehicle deaths. There were 34,439 auto accidents in 2016 with 37,461 deaths in the United States. Of these, 3,623 deaths occurred in California. Yet, when an airplane crashes, fliers frequently cancel reservations. This is largely due to the fear of giving up control to an airplane pilot who often relies on equipment to fly the plane. Few, if any people, stop driving. Since autonomous vehicles will lack steering wheels and brake pedals in the future, control will be a thing of the past. Whether this is acceptable is still unknown.

Self-Driving Cars and Trucks

Twenty million more people trust driverless cars in this country this year than last, according to the American Automobile Association. However, the majority of those questioned said that they would be somewhat afraid to give up control to an autonomous vehicle. About 73 percent of male drivers in the study said their driving skills were excellent. This, they felt, negates the idea of increased safety due to lack of driver error in autonomous cars.

Fear of self-driving cars by millennials dropped by 24 percent since the previous year. Seventeen percent of baby boomers now say they are less afraid of autonomous vehicles than a year ago.

What We Know About Autonomous Vehicle Acceptance

A poll done at the end of 2017 of about 1,000 adults in the United States who were 18 and older provided the following:

  • 63 percent of all adults said they would still be afraid of a fully self-driving car. The number was 78 percent eleven months earlier.
  • About 46 percent said that compared to non-autonomous vehicles, they would feel more safe in a vehicle they had control over.
  • More women than men fear self-driving vehicles by a factor of 73 percent to 52 percent.

Advantages of Self-Driving Cars

The biggest advantage of autonomous vehicles is the lack of human error. This factor causes over 80 percent of all auto accidents on the road. Since a driver is not at the helm, drunk or distracted driving will not be involved. In addition, self-driving cars are “taught” to obey the rules of the road, something that will save lives at intersections.

Other advantages are:

  • An autonomous car will pull up to the door to take workers home. This will cut down on the need for parking close by. It will also decrease assaults as workers walk through parking garages.
  • In cities, ownership of a self-driving vehicle will not be a necessity. Using a service such as Uber will allow individuals to call for a vehicle when they need to go somewhere and return home.
  • Free time will be increased since self-driving car occupants can relax during their trip, listening to music or catching up on emails.

Self-Driving Car Accident Lawyer in Sacramento

I’m Ed Smith, a self-driving car accident lawyer in Sacramento.  If you have been seriously injured in an accident with a negligent driver or a faulty autonomous testing vehicle, you will need the advice of an injury lawyer. Just reach out to me using the information below for free and friendly legal advice:

I’ve been helping those in Sacramento and Northern California for 36 years with car and truck accidents, amputations and brain injuries. I’ve also assisted in wrongful death claims.

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