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Will Self-Driving Cars Help Lower Distracted Driving Rates?

On Behalf of | Sep 20, 2016 | Distracted Driving

Proponents of self-driving cars have boasted about their convenience, but also their safety. Most importantly, makers of these driverless vehicles claim that they will reduce the number of distracted driving incidents and accidents overall in the United States. While they show promise, there are those who feel that self-driving vehicles may actually exacerbate the issue caused by drivers who are not paying attention – after all, if a driver is not physically operating a vehicle, would he or she pay adequate attention to what it is doing? Based on these developments, it seems that automakers are attempting to turn vehicles into entertainment vessels and mobile offices, allowing people to do their work and catch up on social media while commuting. This technology, however, isn’t prepared to deal with emergency situations. Furthermore, the limitations of such vehicles are well-known. By removing a driver from the responsibility of driving the actual vehicle, his or her driving ability and attention will be limited.

Drivers Are At-Fault for Most Accidents

Self-driving vehicles remove the human error factor in vehicle operations; this is beneficial, since human drivers are to blame for most accidents. While it is true that faulty mechanics and weather can play a factor, most serious accidents are due to driver inattention or poor reaction time. Self-driving cars are more courteous than human drivers, as well, which eliminates overly aggressive actions on the road.

Advantages of Self-Driving Vehicles

There are some positives to self-driving technology:

  • Computers are ideal drivers, because they don’t let emotions hinder their driving abilities.
  • Computers rely on algorithms to determine stopping distances, following distances, etc.
  • A computer cannot become distracted.
  • Drivers can use their time in the vehicle to do other things while the computer handles the actual traveling.
  • Self-driving cars would improve traffic conditions and possibly limit congestion.
  • Disabled individuals would have more opportunities for getting around.
  • Larger cities would not have to spend millions of dollars on public transportation systems.
  • Many vehicles sold today are equipped with some self-driving features, such as automatic braking.

Disadvantages of Self-Driving Vehicles

As with all technological advances, there are some disadvantages to consider with self-driving vehicles, as well:

  • They are not yet programmed to react in emergency situations.
  • Drivers need to still know how to operate a vehicle safely to monitor the computer’s actions.
  • The cost of a self-driving vehicle, along with its accessories, is upward of $100,000, making it out-of-reach for most consumers.
  • Self-driving cars will only reach their full potential if the majority of cars on the road are also self-driving.
  • If other technology fails, such as traffic signals, the computer may stop working.
  • When drivers are not habitually using their skills, their ability to drive a car safely may be diminished over time.
  • To navigate themselves, self-driving cars rely heavily on GPS systems, which are not always accurate.

Were You Injured by a Distracted Driver?

Until self-driving technology becomes a widespread reality, drivers must rely on their own skills. If you were seriously injured in a car accident with a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact Jacobs Law, LLC today for a consultation. Call today or fill out our online contact form with your questions.


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