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Will Self-Driving Cars Actually Make Our Roads Safer?

By The Husband and Wife Law Team on July 10, 2023

Driving down an empty highway in a high-tech autonomous Tesla vehicle. Young man drives along a scenic rural motorway hands-free in a modern self-steering car.

Autonomous vehicles have the potential to revolutionize transportation and reduce the number of vehicle accidents. Although, self-driving cars come with potential risks that must be addressed as they continue on the path of widespread adoption.

As Phoenix personal injury lawyers, we must examine whether self-driving cars will truly make our roads safer. We believe it is essential that we understand the potential safety benefits of self-driving cars, the limitations these vehicles currently face, and the role of legal professionals in navigating this evolving landscape.

Potential Safety Benefits of Self-Driving Cars

Human error causes most traffic crashes. Autonomous vehicles have the potential to dramatically reduce driver errors that result in collisions. Driverless cars have no emotions. They are never in a rush to get somewhere, are not distracted by cell phones or passengers, and are never tired or impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Self-driving cars can enhance safety with specialized features such as advanced sensors, real-time data analysis, and rapid response times. These vehicles also have the potential to improve road safety through increased adherence to traffic laws and regulations.

Challenges and Limitations of Autonomous Vehicles

Unexpected situations can arise on the road, and drivers use common sense and logic to handle them. We employ critical reasoning skills to predict actions and outcomes and modify our driving behavior accordingly.

Critical thinking cannot be built into computers or vehicles. Instead, developers must anticipate and code every possible situation. With thousands, possibly millions, of potential unexpected driving situations, it is virtually impossible to identify and code them all. A clear need exists for further advancements in artificial intelligence, sensor technology, and cybersecurity.

Legal and Liability Considerations Involving Self-Driving Cars

There is a need for updated regulations and legislation to address issues such as insurance coverage, accident liability, and data privacy. In Arizona, House Bill 2813 regulates self-driving cars within the state. It treats a self-driving vehicle as a driver for purposes of compliance with Arizona traffic laws.

Self-driving vehicles are required to stop at the scene of an accident, report it to law enforcement, and provide the owner’s name and address and the registration number to other parties involved in a crash. The manufacturer of a self-driving car must report an accident to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration within 24 hours. Self-driving vehicles are required to carry the mandatory minimum auto liability coverage. Legal professionals play an essential role in navigating complex legal systems and rules and advocating for the rights of individuals involved in crashes with autonomous vehicles.

Transition Period and Human Interaction

Automated safety technologies in vehicles have evolved in the U.S. since seat belts, cruise control, and antilock brakes were introduced in the last half of the 20th century. However, even the highest level of driving automation available to consumers requires the driver’s full engagement and undivided attention.

While self-driving cars integrate into our existing transportation system during this transition phase, human understanding and cooperation are essential. Challenges may potentially arise due to the coexistence of self-driving and human-driven vehicles. There is a need for clear communication and education to ensure safe road interactions.

Collaboration and Future Possibilities

Collaboration among technology companies, auto manufacturers, government agencies, and legal professionals is vital for shaping the future of self-driving cars. Ongoing research, testing, and continuous improvement have the potential to further enhance the reliability and safety of autonomous vehicles.

Injury attorneys play a crucial role in navigating legal complexities, advocating for appropriate regulations, and protecting the rights of individuals involved in accidents with self-driving cars.

Contact The Husband & Wife Law Team for Elite Legal Representation

The Husband & Wife Law Team in Phoenix, Arizona, has the knowledge and resources to thoroughly investigate your accident, determine liability, and pursue the compensation you deserve. The Husband & Wife Law Team is a Better Business Bureau “A+” rated law firm, with Mark and Alexis Breyer having recently been named some of the top injury lawyers in the Phoenix valley by North Valley Magazine.

We always have time for our clients and take pride in our commitment to providing compassionate and skilled legal counsel. If you have been injured in an accident involving a self-driving vehicle in Phoenix, we want to hear about it. Call us at (602) 457-6222 to schedule a free initial case consultation with no obligation.

Posted in: Auto Accident

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