Are Self-Driving Cars Safer Than Cars Operated by People?
Every day, we achieve something new in the realm of robotics.
In fact, it won’t be a surprise if one day our roads are filled with self-driving cars. Self-driving cars, also known as autonomous cars, open a lot of doors for all kinds of drivers. Now, even people who have any form of disability can go from one place to another on their own without having to drive themselves.
Before we take a dive into the world of self-driving cars, let’s define them properly first. These days, cars can perform specific functions without the control of the driver such as parking, driving in one lane with uniform speed, or following the car in front. However, for a car to completely qualify as a “self-driving”, it must have the power of self-governance.
In other words, the car must be able to act independently.
In the United States, the National Highway Safety Administration classifies the levels of autonomy into five categories, starting from Level 0 where the driver has complete control of the car, to Level 4 where the vehicle is independently in charge of all the functions during the entire trip – from starting the car, to stopping, and ultimately, to parking.
The mere fact that government bodies have devised such elaborate classifications could only mean one thing: automated cars are coming to the mainstream market and they are here to stay.
We know that it might take a few years before the roads are peppered with automated and autonomous cars, but before that even happens, people are already envisioning what it would be like.
This also begs the ultimate question: How safe are self-driving cars and are they safer than cars operated by people?
From the looks of it, the answer is yes. Here are a few reasons why:
First of all, autonomous cars eliminate the element of human error.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of accidents happen on the road in blind spots. In fact, 94 percent of road accidents happen because of human mistakes. These blind spots exist because of the limitations of our human eyes. Self-driving cars are equipped with sensors that can identify if another car is within a close proximity, or if it is dangerously close to your car. This is a function that modern carmakers have started tinkering with. Some cars won’t allow you to switch lanes when there is another car in your blind spot.
Aside from accidents caused by honest mistakes, we can now rule out accidents that happen due to negligence and drunk driving.
The number of drunk driving-related cases that Attorney Big Al alone receives is already telling of how serious this problem is. Despite all the PSAs and the reminders that we should not drive when intoxicated, the fact remains that there are still many fatalities recorded every year due to drunk driving.
If we don’t need to put an actual human behind the wheel for a car to function, then accidents due to DUI are something we won’t be worrying about anymore.
Autonomous cars can possibly reduce congestion and provide larger safety gaps for cars.
If we are to bank on the idea that autonomous cars can open a lot of opportunities for ride-sharing, this will also lead us to the conclusion that having autonomous cars on the road will reduce traffic. This means one more thing: Fewer cars on the road mean less traffic, and less traffic means fewer accidents!
Of course, just like any other piece of technology, automated cars are not infallible. In fact, in early July, Tesla just reported its first fatal crash. However, we must also consider that this technology is still in its early stages, and it is bound to be improved and developed further in the future.
So while we wait for these new developments, it’s good to already spark a debate about the safety of these self-driving cars, since it looks like they are here to stay.
In the meantime, make sure that you are driving your non-autonomous car safely! In the case of accidents, you know who to call. That’s right — do not hesitate to call Attorney Big Al for legal representation in your time of need.
While we’re on the topic, this also worth remembering: It does not matter whether you were hurt by a human behind the wheel or a self-driving car. Always call Attorney Big Al at 1-800-HURT-123 and let us help you seek justice!