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Complacent Motorists Driving Autonomous Cars may be at Risk of Car Accidents

In spite of the fact that so -called “autonomous” cars have been involved in several auto accidents, including fatal crashes, over the past few years, motorists driving these automobiles tend to be complacent and engage in distracting tasks at the wheel.

Many  cars with self-driving automation, including Tesla, have recently been in the spotlight for the car accidents involving these automobiles.  Some of these auto accidents have actually resulted in fatalities. Other cars with partial automation technology like  Super Cruise Cadillac have also been involved in car accidents.  However, knowledge  about these accidents does not seem to stop the motorists who drive these cars from driving recklessly.  A  new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety finds that many motorists driving these cars continue to perform distracting activities, like snacking or texting while at the wheel of these partially autonomous vehicles.

These partially autonomous systems involve two main types of systems that are geared at preventing accidents.  One  is adaptive cruise control which helps control and set the pace at which the vehicle travels,  and the other is lane departure  technology which keeps the car in its lane. These technologies are very effective in helping prevent car accidents, but under no circumstances are they fully autonomous technologies that can replace humans.

Many  studies have shown that these technologies require human input to perform at their optimum level, and that, on their own, they may be incapable of identifying many of the environments and situations that contribute to car accidents everyday.  In  other words, driving cars with these technologies does not give a motorist the license to switch off from the task of driving and perform other non -driving tasks like texting or cell phone use at the wheel.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety identified a number of problems that possibly contribute to these behaviors by motorists.  They point out to the fact that advertisements for the Super Cruise cars show motorists using their hands to clap and perform other activities while the car is in motion, suggesting that it is acceptable for motorists to take their hands off the wheel while the car is in autonomous mode.  The name of Tesla’s system –  Autopilot –  suggests that the system can simply take over for a motorist completely at the wheel, which is actually not the case at all.  The researchers say that it is important for safeguards to be installed to reduce the  likelihood of risk -taking behaviors behind the wheel of  autonomous vehicles.

The Atlanta car crash attorneys at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons injured in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia.  If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a car accident, talk to a lawyer at our firm and determine if you have legal options to a claim for damages.   You may be eligible for compensation that includes medical expenses, lost income and other types of damages.  Talk to an attorney at our firm and discuss your case.

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