No one wants to be involved in a car collision. Still, approximately 6 million car accidents occur in the United States every year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 36,096 people died in car accidents in 2019. Some of these accidents were preventable. So, is there a safer way for drivers and their passengers to arrive at their destinations?
It’s estimated that 90% of car accidents are due to human error. Science is continually adding automation to vehicles, progressing towards self-driving cars. Removing the element of human decision-making could potentially lead to safer roads. If you or a loved one has been in car accident contact a Layton Car Accident Lawyer right away.
What Are The Levels of Autonomous Driving?
The levels are as follows:
- Level 0: No Driving Automation
- Level 1: Driver Assistance
- Level 2: Partial Driving Automation
- Level 3: Conditional Driving Automation
- Level 4: High Driving Automation
- Level 5: Full Driving Automation
The idea of self-driving cars may seem far-fetched, but some of this technology is slowly being built into newer vehicles. For example, technologies such as lane-keep assist, blind-spot detection, forward collision warning, and backup cameras were integrated into cars in the early 2000s but are considered Level 0 because the driver is still in control of the car. On the other hand, self-parking or parking assist is a form of Level 2 automation as the driver supervises the system.
The Leading Human Errors Resulting in Car Crashes
The NHTSA cites several factors that lead to preventable car accidents. These factors include distracted driving, drunk driving, drug-impaired driving, speeding, and drowsy driving. Self-driving cars could substantially decrease or potentially eliminate these human decision-making car crashes.
Some of these statistics are jarring to consider. Car accidents caused by drunk driving result in the equivalent of one death every 52 minutes. Drowsy driving accounted for 697 deaths in 2019. In the same year, speeding led to the death of 9,478 individuals. Drivers should note that drug-impaired driving includes illicit drugs and some prescription drugs as well.
One increasing concern that has come about is cell phone usage while driving. Currently, 48 states have laws banning texting and driving. Additionally, 28 states have hands-free driving laws. Yet, over 3,000 deaths were caused by this form of distracted driving per the most recent data from NHTSA.
What Are The Implications for Self Driving Cars?
Self-driving cars are not without disadvantages. The possibility of malfunctions, glitches, or possible hacking are certainly possibilities. Potential exposure to electromagnetic radiation and an overall false sense of security should also be considered. On the other hand, self-driving cars could contribute to shorter commutes, decreased traffic congestion, and reduced harmful emissions.
Although manufacturers continue to add automation features to cars, we will continue to see preventable car accidents occur in the interim. If you are in the unfortunate position of being involved in an auto accident, the accident experts at Feller & Wendt are here to help. Give us a call at (801) 499-5060 or complete our contact form for a free consultation.