Self-driving cars and error-related crashes
An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study has shown that, at the most, self-driving cars can prevent around a third of all crashes resulting from driver error. Specifically, they could prevent crashes due to sensing and perceiving errors, such as mistakes caused by distraction; impeded visibility; or incapacitation, like drug and alcohol impairment.
For their data, researchers looked at more than 5,000 accidents from the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey. They determined that five categories of errors contributed to the crashes. Besides the two mentioned above, the other three were mistakes relating to:
• Planning and deciding
• Execution and performance
Planning and deciding errors were to blame for 40% of the analyzed crashes and include aggressive driving and traveling too fast for road conditions. Sensing and perceiving errors were only behind 23% of crashes, and incapacitation caused 10% of the accidents.
What makers of self-driving cars must do
The IIHS emphasized that automakers need to put safety first instead of speed or driver convenience. In addition to obeying the traffic laws, self-driving cars must be able to take road conditions into consideration and account for the uncertainty of other road users’ actions. Still, 1 in 10 accidents are not due to driver error, so there’s some question of how these collisions could be prevented.
A lawyer to help calm your fears
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