Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney P.C.

The impact of autonomous vehicles on fatal accidents

Our readers in Connecticut have likely been seeing more reports in the news about so-called "autonomous" vehicles, as several different car companies and other companies begin to expand their experimentation with this technology. But, could autonomous vehicles really have that much of an impact on the number of car accidents and fatalities that occur on our nation's roadways?

Some experts apparently think so, even despite the fact that car accidents are one of the most significant causes of death in America. As several previous posts here have mentioned, drunk driving and distracted driving are prevalent behaviors that hundreds of thousands of people engage in each year. In fact, American roadways are becoming deadlier - not safer.

However, the United States Department of Transportation has estimated that the proliferation of autonomous vehicles could drastically reduce the number of deadly car accidents. How? Well, primarily, the estimates include a belief that autonomous vehicles could eliminate a very significant factor in many car accidents: human error.

All told, it appears that the potential for a positive impact from autonomous vehicles is gaining validity amongst influential organizations, including the DOT. Unfortunately, it will likely be years - or even decades - before autonomous vehicle technology progresses to a point at which it will begin a movement toward reducing the number of deadly car accidents that occur on our nation's roadways. For now, Connecticut residents who have been injured in a car accident will likely need to assess their legal options. If the accident was caused by a negligent driver, the injured party may be able to recover financial compensation.

Source: ZDNet, "How autonomous vehicles could save over 350K lives in the US and millions worldwide," Teena Maddox, Feb. 1, 2018

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