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Self-Driving Cars and Auto Accidents in Naperville

Casey Woodruff

self-driving carWhile self-driving cars are not yet a common sight on the highways of Illinois, autonomous technology is currently being tested in California, Washington, and Texas, according to a recent article in CNN Money. Companies behind this technology contend that self-driving cars can result in fewer car accidents and safer roadways. Yet not all Americans are comfortable with the idea of self-driving vehicles. To be sure, the article cites a recent AAA study that suggests a large majority of U.S. residents are actually scared about the prospects of self-driving cars becoming a widespread phenomenon. Are autonomous vehicles actually safe, or do they come with risks of serious traffic collisions in Naperville?

Human Error in Auto Accidents

For those in favor of self-driving vehicles, new forms of autonomous technology provide opportunities to reduce the rate of car accident fatalities in Illinois and across the country. To be sure, the article emphasizes that autonomous technology, unlike human drivers, cannot drink and drive, and self-driving vehicles cannot be at risk of a crash due to drowsy driving or distracted driving. While Americans continue to text while driving and to engage in other behaviors that are risky to the safety of everyone on the road, self-driving cars look like a solution to the problem.

A majority of U.S. drivers do like the idea of certain forms of autonomous technology, including automatic braking and self-parking, according to the article. Indeed, about 60 percent of people surveyed in the AAA study said they would be in favor of limited self-driving features that still keep humans at the wheel.

However, an even larger majority of the study participants voiced their concerns about self-driving cars. Not only was a majority generally opposed to self-driving vehicles, but 75 percent of the 1,800 drivers surveyed said that they were actually “afraid” of self-driving cars. A recent report from NBC News discussed the AAA study, noting that “fear poses a potential concern to the automotive industry as consumers may be reluctant to embrace the self-driving car.”

Drivers Overestimating Their Abilities to Avoid a Traffic Collision 

According to the article in CNN Money, the managing director of AAA, John Nielsen, suspects that the drivers surveyed who articulated concerns about self-driving vehicles “may be overestimating their own abilities” to avoid a serious traffic collision. Nielsen also speculated that, as more drivers purchase automobiles with semi-autonomous technology (such as automatic braking), their “comfort level” with this kind of technology will increase.

But are self-driving cars actually safer than vehicles driven by humans? According to an article in Autoblog.com, a Google self-driving vehicle recently was involved in a low-impact car accident, and Google “accepted at least some responsibility” for it. In other words, the self-driving Lexus was at least partially at fault for the crash.

Self-driving cars currently are in the testing phase, and they are not yet approved for everyday use throughout the country. However, we could soon see a day where autonomous technology does help to prevent car accidents.

Contact a Naperville Car Accident Attorney

In the meantime, it is important to understand the risks of drowsy driving, distracted driving, and other dangerous behaviors that could result in a severe traffic collision. If you or someone you love recently got hurt in a car crash caused by another driver’s negligence, you should discuss your case with a Naperville car accident lawyer. You may be eligible to file a claim for compensation. Contact Woodruff Johnson & Evans today.

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