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Will a Driverless Car Make Car Accidents a Thing of the Past?

Until recently, the idea of a driverless car may have sounded like something out of a sci-fi movie. With the many advances in computers and technology in recent years, however, a driverless car is not just within the realm of possibility. In fact, our Boston car accident lawyers know that driverless cars actually exist today and people (albeit testers) have been inside of them. 1390004_car.jpg

While many people may not have heard of these technological wonders since they won’t be available for a decade or more and since they cost around $100,000, driverless cars got national attention when Jeb Bush talked about them at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). PolitiFact took a look at the truth of his statement and the information they found can help to shed some light on whether driverless cars are coming soon to a road near you.

Driverless Cars as a Safe Alternative
When Jeb Bush brought up the driverless car at CPAC, he indicated that such a car had already driven more than 300,000 miles on the crowded streets in California. In all of these hundreds of thousands of miles, the car had not been involved in an accident. PolitiFact looked into this claim and found that it was mostly true and that there really has been a safe and effective driverless vehicle zipping around the streets of California.

PolitiFact also reported on other driverless cars currently being developed, including one made with Google that had been successful on a reported test drive. Google’s wireless car had been able to detect cars when merging and to detect and respond appropriately to a tailgating vehicle, among other accomplishments. The Google car can’t drive in heavy rain, but this is a small drawback for a car that can effectively drive itself around and act as your personal chauffeur.

Driverless cars may attract attention because of the convenience and cool factor, but Jeb Bush brought up other important points about these vehicles when discussing them. Bush indicated that not only had the California car not been in an accident but also that driverless cars in general could essentially eliminate accidents and eliminate getting lost.

Of course, even a driverless car cannot possibly make all auto accidents in the U.S. stop. Still, the claim wasn’t that outlandish because a driverless car can resolve a lot of the inherent flaws that human drivers have. For example:

  • A driverless car has more monitors processing data and can view more angles and locations at once when compared with an individual driving himself.
  • A driverless car doesn’t react with emotion when making a driving choice. All decisions are made based on what is the most logical course of action given the visual the car is getting. A driverless car, for example, won’t have a conscious or unconscious tendency to speed when you’ve been late to work.
  • A driverless car isn’t going to be drunk, fatigued and falling asleep, daydreaming or otherwise distracted, unlike a real driver who could be one or more of those things and whose driving could be compromised as a result.

Driverless cars, in other words, take the human error out of driving and remove the risk that a driver will cause a crash through his negligence or intentionally wrongful and misguided acts.

If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:
Spate of Fatal Teen Crashes Highlight Need for Parental Involvement
, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, March 25, 2013.

Daydreaming on the Way to Work Could be Deadly
, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, April 11, 2013.