Lives and money may be saved by self-driven vehicles

The potential that computer-driven cars have to save the lives of many in Alabama and across the county may be exciting news for those who have recently been injured in a car accident. According to government research, driver error is a factor in up to 90 percent of all accidents. In addition, over 40 percent of fatal car accidents result from the consumption of alcohol, drugs, distraction or fatigue. Self-driven cars may one day bring an end to fatigue and alcohol-related crashes.

Numbers recently released from a study conducted by the Eno Center for Transportation show how much self-driving cars could potentially improve road ways. If only 10 percent of vehicles were to be self driven, $38 billion in economic and other benefits could be saved and 1,000 lives could be saved. Increase the number of self-driving cars to 90 percent and those numbers jump to $447 billion and 21,700 lives.

With potential benefits such as those, self-driving cars hold great promise. However, obstacles still remain toward getting the cars on the road and, perhaps more importantly, into widespread use. The largest is the current cost necessary to make such a vehicle, around $100,000 per car. However, new technologies like crash avoidance systems and adaptive cruise control that are needed to make self-driving cars are being offered by car manufacturers in high-end models today.

These visions of future vehicles include allowing people to be more productive in their cars and greatly reduce traffic accidents. However, many years will pass before these cars become commonplace. In the meantime, it's important for car accident victims to understand that they may be able to recover compensation for damages, such as medical expenses and property damage, that were caused by another driver.

Source: The Spokesman-Review, "Computer-driven cars could significantly reduce deaths, study says", Joan Lowy, October 23, 2013

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