Traffic accidents result in thousands of deaths per year. In 2017, fatal accidents caused by distracted drivers caused 3,166 deaths, which was more than 8% of all traffic fatalities. While cars have more safety features than they have in past years and decades, technology has also led to a rise in distracted driving. Although self-driving cars may put an end to distracted driving in the future, they may actually be causing drivers in Texas and around the country to take their focus off of the road today.
In recent years, vehicles have gained the ability to brake, accelerate and steer on their own. While these features have the potential to save lives, they also can make drivers complacent. Research has shown that motorists who have advanced safety or assisted driving features in their cars have slower reaction times than those who aren’t using them.
It is also important to consider that computers can make errors or fail to make decisions in a timely manner. Furthermore, if the sensors or cameras that the computers rely on to operate a car fail, an automated vehicle system may not be safe enough to use. Therefore, simply replacing human drivers with a computer won’t necessarily put a permanent end to auto accidents. Even if a human can take over when computers fail, there may not be enough time to avoid a crash.
Those who are hurt in a car accident caused by a distracted or otherwise negligent driver may be entitled to compensation. In the event that faulty equipment led to a crash, the company that made the component that failed could be named as a defendant in a lawsuit. It may be possible to resolve the matter through a negotiated settlement instead of going to court.