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Self-Driving Cars Will Not Stop Crashes, Insurance Group Says

» Posted July 27, 2020Resources | Share This Post

Many people are still trying to get used to the idea of a world in which streets are flooded with cars that have no one behind the wheel. Still, one of the most common arguments in favor of driverless vehicles is that they would actually reduce the risk of an accident by cutting down on human error. A new study shows that may be true, but going autonomous will not make car crashes a thing of the past.

Only about one-third of accidents are caused by driver errors that self-driving cars are likely to address, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. That is because autonomous vehicles are designed to eliminate crashes caused by “sensing and perceiving” errors and driver incapacitation.

“It’s likely that fully self-driving cars will eventually identify hazards better than people, but we found that this alone would not prevent the bulk of crashes,” Jessica Cicchino, IIHS vice president for research and a co-author of the study, said in a statement announcing the results of the study.

IIHS researchers reviewed more than 5,000 crashes across the country. They concluded that those accidents were caused at least in part by driver errors that they divided into five categories: 1) sensing and perception; 2) predicting; 3) planning and deciding; 4) execution and performance; and 5) incapacitation.  

The organization also pointed to a March 2018 accident in Arizona in which a woman was struck and killed by an autonomous vehicle being tested by Uber. IIHS said the tragic accident was an example that self-driving cars are still at risk of predicting and planning and deciding errors. 

The car was able to identify the woman - Elaine Herzberg - but was not able to predict where she was moving. It was also unable to make the appropriate evasive move to avoid the collision, IIHS said.

“Planning and deciding errors, such as speeding and illegal maneuvers, were contributing factors in about 40 percent of crashes in the study sample,” IIHS concluded.

How a California Lemon Law Attorney Can Help You

Autonomous driving technology also does not eliminate the very real threat of manufacturing and design defects that can make cars hazardous for drivers, passengers and pedestrians.

That is where California’s lemon law comes in. The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act requires car manufacturers to make certain repairs to vehicles while they are under warranty. It also forces the manufacturer to buy back or replace vehicles that the company is unwilling or unable to fix.

At the Bickel Law Firm, California lemon law attorney Brian Bickel and his team have represented hundreds of clients in defective vehicle cases in Southern California and across the state. We work tirelessly to get the people we represent the compensation they deserve.

Our offices are conveniently located in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco.  Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with a California lemon law attorney today.


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