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Auto Technology Alone may not be Sufficient to Prevent Accidents

Self-driving cars are being held up as the way of the future, but may not be able to prevent all types of accidents, especially the majority of accidents that can be linked to driver error.  Those findings came from a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

According to the researchers, auto safety design and advancements in technology will help self-driving vehicles identify and avoid many of the hazards that drivers are susceptible to, but this ability, by itself, would not be sufficient to prevent the majority of accidents that occur on American roads.

The data for the study came from the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey. The researchers identified accident factors that were specifically linked to driver error, and categorised these accidents into 5 types.

  • Accidents that involved distraction, poor visibility and inability to recognise an accident hazard in time
  • Accidents that occurred as a result of incapacitation, like alcohol or drug use or drowsy driving
  • Accidents that occurred when drivers were unable to determine the speed of another vehicle or gaps in traffic accurately
  • Accidents resulting from excessive speed
  • Accidents that occurred as a result of poor manoeuvres and other failures to control the car in time to prevent accidents

Self- driving vehicles would be able to reduce, or maybe even completely eliminate the first 2 types of accidents. These are accidents in which technology would be able to step in to take preventive measures in time to prevent an accident.  Technology also is not susceptible to these errors. Self-driving cars, for example, are not likely to be susceptible to distraction or incapacitation.

However, the remaining types of crashes analysed in the study accounted for approximately 2/3rd of all the accidents. For example, speeding and illegal driving practices were involved in as many as 40% of all accidents in the study.  This indicates that driver errors and preferences can interfere with safety technology.  This also means that the overwhelming majority of all accidents will continue to occur even after self-driving cars make their appearance on American roads.

Many companies that are currently investing in these types of vehicles predict a future where there will be zero accidents. That does not seem likely as long as driver error continues to remain in the picture. Technology may be able to help minimize the number of accidents that are caused because of poor driver choices like drunk driving, distracted driving, or even driving while fatigued, but may not be able to help much to prevent other types of accidents

The Atlanta car accident lawyers at the Katz Law Firm help victims of car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and around Georgia recover compensation after a crash. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, you may be eligible for compensation for your losses through a car accident claim. A claim will help you recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering and other types of damages. Talk to an Atlanta car accident attorney at the Katz Law Firm, and determine your legal options. Initial consultations are free.  

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