MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota. As more self-driving cars get tested on U.S. roads, we are likely to see more accidents take place. Even though we may understand this fact intellectually, many people experience a visceral reaction when autonomous vehicle crashes hit the news. According to Wired, a Waymo self-driving van was involved in another accident in Arizona last week. This comes just weeks after another autonomous vehicle killed a woman in Arizona.
While the minivan accident only resulted in minor injuries, initial reports indicate that the self-driving van may not have been at fault in the accident. Another vehicle reportedly ran a red light. A test driver inside the autonomous vehicle suffered minor injuries. The test driver was reportedly not operating the vehicle at the time. ABC15 released video from the cockpit of the autonomous vehicle which further highlights what happened. Would you have been able to avoid this accident? The video shows a vehicle suddenly and unexpectedly swerving onto an oncoming lane.
According to Wired, Waymo’s autonomous vehicles have been involved in about 30 crashes, but have only been at fault for one. In 2016, one vehicle veered onto a lane in the path of a public bus. Despite the accidents, Waymo is ready to launch a driverless taxi service in Arizona. Is it too soon? Initial statistics indicate that driverless cars are as safe or safer than human drivers, but some critics of the technology claim that it might still be too soon to tell. Other critics claim that by putting both humans on the road (which can be unpredictable) with autonomous vehicles (which behave algorithmically), companies may be endangering both parties. Drivers often act based on non-verbal cues like eye contact or hand waves in ambiguous situations. Self-driving cars may act programmatically in these situations. Wired also reports that an autonomous vehicle’s ability to respond rapidly can also be a liability. A sudden swerve at very high speeds can result in rollover accidents.
At the end of the day, the companies releasing these vehicles on public roads might find themselves liable. That said, human error results in 90 percent of crashes. Distracted driving, sleepy driving, and reckless driving all contribute to injuries and crashes. Many believe that autonomous vehicles can reduce the number of people killed or injured on highways each year.
We may see more autonomous vehicles on the road in the near future, and it isn’t entirely clear how the combination of human drivers and computer drivers will interact. Until then, human drivers have a responsibility to remain safe behind the wheel. The Law Office of Martin T. Montilino are car accident lawyers in Minneapolis, Minnesota who work closely with victims and families injured on the road. You and your family may be entitled to seek damages for your injuries after a crash. Reach out to the Law Office of Martin T. Montilino today to learn more.
THE LAW OFFICE OF MARTIN T. MONTILINO, LLC
3109 Hennepin Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Phone: (612) 236-1320