Drivers in Tennessee and across the U.S. are looking forward to a future where self-driving cars have totally eliminated all accidents. Yet the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has found that these cars, so long as they do not put safety above speed and comfort, will fail to prevent even the majority of crashes involving driver error.
The IIHS conducted a study on this subject using data from more than 5,000 crashes. Researchers divided errors that led to the crashes into five categories: errors in sensing and perceiving, predicting, planning and deciding, executing, and incapacitation. Researchers said that self-driving cars would only prevent crashes caused by incapacitation and by sensing and perceiving errors.
The total came to 34% of all crashes; sensing and perceiving errors, which include distracted driving, accounted for 24%, and incapacitation, such as alcohol and drug impairment, covered 10%. However, the most widespread factors were planning and deciding errors (40%), which range from speeding to aggressive driving.
To prevent errors in the other three categories, self-driving cars would need to be specifically programmed to do so. Even then, some crashes cannot be avoided because they are due not to driver error but to vehicle failures like blown tires and broken axles.
The victim of another driver’s error may seek compensatory damages, but they should do so with the advice and guidance of a personal injury lawyer. An attorney may help in the gathering of evidence that shows how the defendant was negligent and in the negotiating of a settlement. If one cannot be agreed upon, then the lawyer might take the case to court. A successful claim could cover medical bills, lost wages, vehicle repair costs, physical and emotional trauma and more.