Do semi-automated cars cause accidents?

On Behalf of | Feb 17, 2024 | Car Accidents

Many years ago, the idea that cars would drive themselves was just science fiction. Today, many people are driving vehicles that are advertised as self-driving. In theory, these self-driving vehicles can take people to their destination without user input. This would ideally give people more time to focus on other things, make traffic safer and reduce auto accidents. 

The reality of self-driving cars is that this vision is far from complete. Many people are trusting their self-driving vehicles too much. Is this causing more auto accidents? Here’s what you should know: 

Why people put too much trust in their semi-automated vehicles

Cars that are promoted as self-driving only have features that assist drivers. These cars may have adaptive cruise control that can help maintain a vehicle’s speed and keep vehicles within traffic lines. These cars can also keep a specific distance between leading vehicles and warn users when they or another vehicle is too close to an obstacle. A user could also indicate when they need to change lanes and allow the vehicle to do so when it doesn’t detect other vehicles. These features are found in a lot of modern cars, but the technology can be somewhat more advanced. 

At most, however, these vehicles are semi-automated. Users still need to have a lot of input into their driving. This means that users still need to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel even when they can turn on auto-pilot mode. Yet, this hasn’t stopped many people from doing so, which has led to catastrophic accidents. 

Because the technology is so new, many users don’t understand their semi-automated vehicles’ limits. Furthermore, programming errors can cause these vehicles to make major mistakes, such as braking unexpectedly during traffic or failing to detect obstacles or pedestrians. 

It may be a long time before there are fully autonomous vehicles. For now, people might need to learn about their legal rights if they suffer from a vehicle accident that was caused by someone’s negligence. 


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