Autonomous cars, self-driving vehicles, driverless automobiles — regardless of what you choose to call them, they are the next step in the evolution of transportation. These driverless cars have been designed to make it so an automobile can drive you from point A to point B without you having to… drive.
The ultimate goal of driverless cars is to eliminate automobile accidents that are typically caused due to driver error. Their use could also help with the transportation of elderly persons who cannot drive anymore, those with disabilities that render them unable to drive and even drunk people who choose to get behind the wheel because no other easy option exists to get them home.
And while driverless cars are already in existence and on the road, the truth is there is still a long way to go before the ultimate goal is reached.
Pedestrian Death By Driverless Car
Recently, driverless cars claimed their first death in an accident in Arizona. An Uber vehicle traveling in autonomous mode struck and killed a woman who was walking her bike across a four-lane road.
The incident is a sad one but many were quick to point out that it was the first death because of a driverless car, which pales in comparison to the 37,000 people killed in 2016 by actual people behind the wheel.
But is it really fair to compare those numbers? The short answer is: No, it’s not.
The numbers that should be looked at are the fatalities per vehicle miles traveled. In 2016, 1.18 million people were killed for every 100 million miles traveled. Americans drove roughly 3.2 trillion miles in 2016, which leads us to the 37,000 deaths that year.
Now look at the miles traveled by driverless vehicles — it is a lot less than 100 million. Uber itself only just hit two million miles traveled with its autonomous program. So one death per a lot less miles traveled by driverless vehicles means they are not quite as safe as the world hopes them to be.
This does not mean they will not solve the problems they were designed to solve someday. All it means, is that for the moment, driverless cars are still a work in progress with a lot more work to be done.
As a motorist on the road, it is important for you to be wary of driverless cars and autonomous features cars are being equipped with today. And remember, just because a vehicle is driverless does not mean no one can be held liable for an accident.
Pittsburgh Attorney Will Help With Your Claim
If you have been injured in a car accident or even worse, lost a loved one due to another motorist’s negligence, then you need legal help. In Pennsylvania, The Law Office of Mark A. Smith can help with your personal injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit.
Mr. Smith has over 23 years of legal experience and knows what it takes to get you the compensation you deserve. You can speak with him and setup a free initial consultation by calling 412-567-1313 today.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.