Car accidents take place across Ohio, as in the rest of the country, on a daily basis. Despite repeated warnings, drivers drive recklessly, disregard the rules and often get behind the steering wheel while impaired. This begs the question: if we were to remove the human element of driving and travel in driverless cars, would the number of car crashes reduce? This may seem like a question of the future, but the reality is that many companies are actively pursuing this avenue and the technology does exist currently.
As per one company’s experience of testing self-driving cars for six years over more than two million miles of a combination of autonomous and manual driving in November of last year, the automated car has only been involved in 17 minor accidents and none of them were caused by the car itself. It might however, be time to add another crash to the record and this time the cause could partially be attributed to the driverless car, demonstrating that car accidents can take place whether a human is behind the wheel or not.
According to reports, the driverless car was trying to get around some sandbags in a wide lane, believing a bus would allow the car to pass or slow down for it, but it didn’t. A couple of seconds later, the car re-entered the center lane and struck the side of the bus, causing property damage to both vehicles. There was a driver present in the driverless car at the time, though he wasn’t controlling the car. The car was traveling at two mph and the bus at 15 mph. According to the company, they have reviewed the accident and made refinements to their software in order to demonstrate the fact that buses may be less likely to yield than other vehicles.
Though human error may cause auto accidents, human instincts can also prevent accidents. When a driver is drunk or distracted, their instincts are affected and they are more likely to cause accidents. An accident victim’s whole life can change in the blink of an eye if someone is not paying attention to the road and that reckless driver can be held accountable through a personal injury lawsuit.
Source: Reuters, “Google says it bears ‘some responsibility’ after self-driving car hits bus,” David Shepardson, March 29, 2016