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Examining the Risks of Self-Driving Cars: Is Road Safety Compromised?

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Are Self-Driving Cars Really as Safe as They Seem?

According to the statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost 38,824 people lost their lives in car accidents in 2022, and around 20 people lost their lives in self-driving car accidents. Self-driving cars are slowly replacing standard automobiles as many people are now considering renewable energy vehicles. However, the risk of self-driving cars is paramount compared to human-driven cars due to system failures. Are self-driving cars safe? 

Find out the self-driving car accident rate & statistics. If you have suffered in a self-driving car accident, contact our Kansas City accident lawyers at Royce Injury for help today! A personal injury lawyer will help you understand the options available to you — claiming compensation from the insurance company against the injuries sustained by you due to the fault of an automated car maker. If you have a no-fault case, a personal injury lawyer can help you file a personal injury claim in injury court. 

Are Self-Driving Cars Safe?

The latest technology has enabled cars to be automated. Electric cars have revolutionized the standard vehicles, and despite the common conception that these electrically powered cars are safe for use, it may not always be true.  According to the latest self-driving car accident statistics, self-driving car crashes are far deadlier than standard car accidents due to the risk involved with the automatism of the cars. A fatal self driving car accident reportedly has a higher risk of personal injuries than no-fault accidents.

Due to an increase in these accidents, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) — a transport agency under the federal government of the USA, has made the reporting of automatic car accidents mandatory for self-driving car manufacturers under the Automated Vehicle Transparency and Engagement for Safe Testing rules. The purpose of this measure is to observe defective automatic cars before they cause any driverless car accidents. 

How Frequently Are Self-Driving Cars Involved in Auto Accidents?

In a 2022 report by Insurer Axa, automatic cars cause 50% more autonomous vehicle accidents than human-driven vehicles.  Driverless vehicle accidents are more frequent in the USA.  Driverless vehicle accidents are more frequent in the USA. Some reasons behind these accidents are fast driving, system failure, driving behaviors, miss judgment of the power of the accelerators, and some other design problems like the firing of the battery in a rear-end collision. The risk of driverless car accidents is much higher in the new hybrid vehicles. Looking into self-driving car accident rate vs human-induced vehicle accidents gives us an insight into how many accidents are caused by self-driving cars. It also answers the burning question — are self driving cars dangerous or not?

According to the latest 2022 US Department of Transportation report, there have been at least 605 self-driving car accident reports out of which 474 were Tesla cars. According to the insights by the department, most of these autonomous car crashes occurred due to the failure of the driver to apply brakes. The autonomous car crash statistics from the department show that some drivers of these automated cars induced the accelerator exceedingly,  thus causing the speeding issue in self-driving cars. This has increased the driverless car accident rate significantly. 

Risks Related to Self-Driving Cars

Perhaps the most common hazard of self-driving cars is the automation of the system.  Any malfunctions in the sensor to detect an immediate threat on the road and failure to apply the break at the right time is the primary cause of most autonomous car accidents.  An autonomous car puts the driver at greater risk if the system fails to apply automatic safety measures when needed. Usually, the factors that contribute to a driverless car accident crash are as follows; 

  • System breakdown
  • Faulty or Mall functioning sensors,  batteries,  fired wiring, etc
  • Miss calculation of risk by the AI system
  • Failure of an automatic system to analyze its surrounding  environment  and  the unpredictability of human behavior
  • Hacking and cyber attacks
  • Shooting down of system due to low battery
  • Lack of proper legislation  because electric cars are a new endeavor in the transportation industry
  • Any other cause

Injuries from a self-driving car can be as fatal as in a standard car crash. Some of the injury risks related to a self-driving accident are; 

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Skin burns
  • Brain injury 
  • Organ rapture or bone fracture 
  • Memory loss 
  • Other injuries 

How to Prevent a Self-Driving Car Accident

The automated system that the latest self-driving cars are using is an active safety system. The self-driving car manufacturers are working on advanced driving assistance systems that can enable the driver to control the automation by giving a certain degree of control to the drivers to prevent accidents or imminent danger. The most common cause of self-driving accidents is that the drivers cannot control the high-speed vehicle and the failure of brakes. To prevent a self-driving car accident, the drivers must keep the car’s speed in check while maintaining a conscious awareness of their surroundings. The question of liability in case of the crash of driverless car accidents is a serious question under the process of legislation by policymakers. The laws related to liability and compensation will take a more definitive shape as the automated systems become more advanced, safer, and readily available for public use. For now, the only way to prevent the risk of a self-driving car accident is to stay aware of the surrounding environment and not leave it to the automated system completely to do the work. 

Bottom Line

Self-driving cars are a new technology, and it is in the development phase. Therefore, making proper legislation for self-driving car accidents by the policymakers is also challenging because AI systems are a new endeavor from a liability point of view. That said, if you have suffered in a driverless car crash, you can turn to our Kansas City accident lawyer to analyze which kind of compensation options are available to you. 


Don’t settle for less with an insurance company if you have better chances to win worthwhile compensation in a personal injury lawsuit!

Jason Royce Allen

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