How Common are Accidents With Self-Driving Cars?

David Monteleone
Illinois Accident and Wrongful Death Lawyer

  Posted  |  Category : Accident Lawyer

self driving carsTrue self-driving vehicles probably won’t be widely available until the mid-2030s, at the earliest. Until then, a “self-driving car” is basically a marketing term. Various driver assistance features are currently available, like proximity sensors. Furthermore, some form of autopilot might be available by the end of the 2020s. Driver error, which causes over 98% of car accidents, is just as common in these so-called self-driving cars as it is in other vehicles. If anything, driver error might be even more common, because these motorists often have a false sense of security.

Regardless of the type of vehicle which causes the wreck, car crash victims usually incur very high medical bills. Typically, they cannot work for several weeks or even several months. As they recover from their injuries, and even after they recover, they must endure considerable pain and suffering. A Boone County car accident lawyer can obtain compensation for all these losses in court. Additional punitive damages are available as well, in some extreme cases.

Driver Impairment

All the driver assistance technology in the world does nothing to address the problem of driver impairment. These motorists simply cannot safely operate vehicles. Some examples of driver impairment include:

  • Alcohol: Beginning in the 1980s, authorities started cracking down hard on drunk drivers. But this crackdown has had little effect on roadway safety. All these years later, about half of Americans admit they drink and drive. Alcohol adversely affects motor skills and judgment ability.
  • Fatigue: Although alcohol and drowsiness affect the brain and body in roughly the same way, even more people admit they drive when they are dangerously fatigued. Quick drowsiness fixes, like drinking coffee or chewing gum, are largely ineffective.
  • Drugs: In many parts of Illinois, “stoned” driving is a bigger problem than drunk driving. Marijuana is the leading cause of drugged driving accidents, followed by prescription painkillers. These drugs may be legal to consume. But it’s illegal, and dangerous, to drive while under the influence of these substances.

Compensation for driver impairment in self-driving car wrecks is usually higher. Arguably, these tortfeasors (negligent drivers) know they shouldn’t get behind the wheel. Yet they do so anyway, thereby intentionally putting other people at risk.

Driver Carelessness

Speeding, ignoring a traffic control device, and reckless driving are three of the most common kinds of driver carelessness errors in Winnebago County.

Excessive speed increases the risk of a collision as well as the force in a collision. Velocity multiplies stopping distance, or the distance required for drivers to safely stop their vehicles. Speed also multiplies the force in a collision, according to Newton’s Second Law of Motion.

Inattention and poor judgment usually trigger people to run red lights or stop signs. Sometimes, people are so distracted they do not see a light change, especially if they are driving in an unfamiliar part of town. Poor judgment is the classic “I think I can beat the light” attitude.

Reckless driving is usually an extreme traffic violation, like speeding 35mph over the limit, or a combination of two or more infractions, like zipping in and out of traffic lanes without looking or signaling.

Work with a Dedicated Winnebago County Car Accident Attorney

Injury victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer in Boone County, contact Fisk & Monteleone, Ltd. by calling 815-315-0574. Virtual, home and hospital visits are available.