We know that driverless cars are not a question of if but when. We know they are coming, whether we like them or not; whether we are comfortable with them or not. Recent research on autonomous vehicles has shown that while they could help fix some of the problems we have with transportation today, they could also make certain situations worse, if improperly managed.
How do these vehicles work? They basically have the ability to talk to traffic lights, mobile phones and other vehicles on the road. They are also equipped with an array of sensors, which help them see and interpret the world around, which helps them drive with complete autonomy. However, there is no denying that cities and infrastructure will need to change before driverless cars can become mainstream.
Pros and Cons of Driverless Cars
The engineering and architecture group, IBI, has outlined a number of pros and cons of driverless vehicles. The IBI study points out that 90 percent of accidents are caused by driver error and 20 to 30 percent of those accidents are a result of distracted driving. Driverless cars are expected reduce the number of crashes caused by driver error. However, the confusion about the capabilities of these vehicles along with the newness of the technology might cause a few traffic collisions.
Driverless vehicles could also be viewed as more efficient because if you are stuck in traffic in an autonomous car, you can still get your work done. On the other hand, congestion can increase if people prefer the convenience of an autonomous car over rideshare or other means of public transportation.
Safety and Liability Issues
The big question with driverless cars, however, at this time, is whether driverless cars are actually safe. We won’t know to what extent they are safe until we have them on our roadways and start gathering safety data. The other question is with regard to liability. Who should be held liable when a driverless car causes an accident or injury—the automaker, the tech company that designed the vehicle or the vehicle’s owner? These are just some of the questions that need to be answered with regardless to driverless cars.
Our Sacramento car accident attorneys will be closely watching the evolution of these vehicles as well as how legislation is built around them in California and the rest of the country. We hope these cars are not allowed on our roadways until they have been properly tested and it has been established that they don’t pose dangers to the public.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Sacramento, our experienced lawyers can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Contact Demas Law Group P.C., at (916) 444-0100 for a free, comprehensive and confidential consultation.