Could self-driving vehicles in Hartford, New Britain, Norwich and Manchester prevent rear-end accidents? One of the big benefits that advocates of self-driving vehicles tout is that technology - and not people - is relied upon to make smart and safe choices. An experienced rear-end accident lawyer knows that rear-end crashes are one of the most common collision types on the road because people are careless, make errors like getting too close to the lead vehicle or may fail to pay attention to the road in front of them. In theory, technology in self-driving cars should not be prone to human error and sensors should be able to effectively tell self-driving vehicles to stop before striking the car in front.
Early data on self-driving cars suggests these types of vehicles may not be very effective at stopping rear-end accidents from happening. CNN Money has some explanations for why this may be the case.
How Common are Rear-End Accidents in Self Driving Vehicles?
Google currently is testing 11 self-driving vehicles on the roads. According to CNN Money, a total of seven rear-end accidents have happened involving the 11 self-driving vehicles.
BBC News also reported there are currently 48 self-driving vehicles registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles. All are being driven and tested on roads throughout the state of California, although the technology is expected to be rapidly deployed in coming years. Of these vehicles, four of the cars have been in accidents over the course of the past nine months. Three of the four are Google vehicles. The self-driving vehicles have primarily been involved in rear-end accidents.
These statistics suggest that rear-end crashes are still a very real possibility for self-driving cars. Why is that the case? Google says the reason is that self-driving vehicles are being struck in the back bumper by cars behind them. In other words, since there are still human drivers who are on the roads, there are still going to be rear-end accidents caused by people making careless mistakes.
Google indicates that rear-end accidents are not the fault of self-driving cars because there is very little the person in the front vehicle can do to stop a crash when someone hits their car from behind. This is why the driver in the rear car is almost always held responsible for losses and damages occurring as a result of a rear-end accident.
However, the director of vehicle testing for Consumer Reports does not think Google's statement is correct. The issue is that drivers who are in the front vehicle can help to prevent rear-end accidents by paying careful attention to the car behind them, using their mirrors, and using their judgment to get out of the way if the rear car is potentially doing something dangerous.
Although the driver in a front car may not be legally obliged to prevent a crash caused by the wrongdoing of the rear-driver, they still use their judgment to help stop the accident and keep themselves safe. Self-driving cars can't do that, so the risk of rear-end accidents may not decline as much as hoped when self-driving cars become more common.
Contact a Hartford accident attorney today at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli. Call 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 for your free case consultation or visit http://www.salomoneandmorelli.com. Also serving New Britain and Norwich to Manchester, New Haven and the Waterbury-area.