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Self-driving cars mean no accidents, right?

On Behalf of | Sep 20, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Since the invention of the car, futurist and sci-fi writers have heralded the future of self-driving cars. Of course, the convenience of public transportation combined with the autonomy of a personal vehicle is enticing. However, one other benefit has been the near elimination of car accidents in Olean, New York, and throughout the country. However, in reality, while self-driving cars may get into fewer car accidents than person-driven vehicles, self-driving cars still get into accidents.

By the numbers

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), from July 2021 to May 2022, approximately 400 car accidents involved some self-driving technology. Of course, this number does not fully account for all self-driving auto accidents as these are the ones self-reported by manufacturers and researchers with self-driving technology, like Tesla.

Indeed, of those 400 or so car accidents, about 275 were Teslas. The NHTSA warned against drawing any conclusions based on that number because the numbers are raw data, not weighted numbers, and they do not differentiate between miles driven, number of cars on the road, etc.

Types of technology used and scope of the problem

When talking about self-driving cars, there are several types of technology used. This includes adaptive cruise control, Autopilot, Full Self-Driving, Traffic Aware Cruise Control, etc. Tesla alone has over 800,000 vehicles currently on the road with these types of systems. Honda has six million on the road, and dozens of other automakers have even more self-driving cars on the road.

Was anyone hurt or killed?

The NHTSA said that five people were killed and six others were seriously injured in car accidents that involved some kind of self-driving system. Another 130 crashes involved fully autonomous vehicles, and in those accidents, no serious injuries were reported.

Is there a difference between these types of accidents and normal accidents?

No. While you may have an additional party to sue if the self-driving vehicle system malfunction, like the car manufacturer, the negligent driver is still responsible. Even if they claim it was not their fault, you can still sue the Olean, New York, driver, their insurance company and, if needed, the auto manufacturer.