According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 90 percent of auto accidents are caused by driver error. Of course, there are factors like weather, other drivers and road conditions, but ultimately, drivers are in control of vehicles and are responsible for reacting to potential hazards.
So what can be done to reduce accidents? Car manufacturers believe the key to reducing accident rates is autonomous cars. Take the driver error element out, and roadways will be safer. Autonomous vehicles are equipped with a variety of maps, cameras and sensors that allow vehicles to monitor surroundings. Some believe these high-tech vehicles will be better able to monitor surroundings and respond to situations than humans.
Reducing Accident Rates and Improving Safety
Several car manufacturers are testing autonomous, or self-driving, cars. Research surrounding tests is promising. Some estimates suggest that self-driving cars could reduce accident rates by as much as 90%. That accounts for almost 30,000 lives saved.
There are a series of problems that still must be addressed before self-driving cars become commonplace. For example:
· Self-driving cars may not make decisions like slight speeding in order to avoid an accident because they are programmed to obey the speed limit.
· Humans are able to make instinctual choices based on the situation. Cars cannot yet do that.
· Legislation is not yet prepared to address the issues related to self-driving cars. The law has not yet clarified who is responsible for accidents involving self-driving cars and what measures may be taken.
· Insurance rules are not yet prepared for self-driving cars.
What this tells us is that self-driving cars have the potential to reduce accident rates and improve safety, but we are not there yet. More research, testing and legislation needs to be completed before self-driving cars take over as commonplace, thus impacting accident rates.