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Self-driving cars not likely to prevent most accidents

On Behalf of | Jul 2, 2020 | Serious Personal Injury |

Nine out of 10 auto accidents are due to driver error. Perhaps you were the victim of such an accident yourself here in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and you believe that the fault lies with the other side. It may be a long process before you receive the compensation you deserve.

Many hope that with self-driving cars, there will be an end to all accidents, but according to a study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, this is highly unlikely. Assuming that self-driving cars become better able to identify road hazards than human drivers are, this will only prevent around one-third of crashes stemming from driver error.

Details of the IIHS study

Researchers analyzed over 5,000 crashes from the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey. These crashes involved emergency medical services and the towing away of at least one vehicle. Noting all the driver errors that were behind these crashes, researchers placed them under five categories:

• Sensing and perceiving errors
• Predicting errors
• Planning and deciding errors
• Execution and performance errors
• Errors from incapacitation

It turns out that self-driving cars could only prevent the first and fifth errors. Sensing and perceiving errors, which include things like distracted driving, factored in 24% of the crashes studied while incapacitation, which ranges from alcohol and drug impairment to falling asleep at the wheel, factored in 10%. Only 34% of crashes, then, could be effectively avoided.

The three unavoidable errors

Planning and deciding errors were the most widespread, causing 40% of the analyzed crashes. Under these were included speeding, driving too fast for road conditions and tailgating. Predicting errors include bad judgments as to what another driver would do or how fast a car is going. Execution and performance errors include overcompensation and illegal maneuvers.

A lawyer for accident victims

If it’s clear in your personal injury case that the other driver erred, it can still be difficult to gather proof against the driver and then negotiate for a reasonable settlement. A lawyer, though, may give your case personal attention and assist with every step while you focus on recovering from the serious injuries you suffered.