Unless you are getting all your news from niche websites about autonomous vehicle technology, where everyone raves that driverless vehicles are the wave of the future, you have probably figured out that we are several decades away from a road system in which all or most of the cars have no one driving them except robots. Meanwhile, cars that have autonomous features like lane assist and obstacle detection, are here to stay, and in the coming years, we will see more and more of them. The important question is not how safe or dangerous these features are, but how safe or dangerous the behavior of the person operating the vehicle is. Do semi-autonomous vehicles save distracted drivers from themselves, or do they simply enable distracted driving behavior? When you get injured by a distracted driver in a semi-autonomous vehicle, none of this matters nearly as much as your need to receive medical treatment for your injuries and to pay for it. A Houma car accident lawyer can help you find the best way to recover financially from a car accident in which you were injured.
Do Smart Cars Cause Distracted Driving or Prevent it?
At least from the perspective of drivers, the autonomous driving features on “smart” cars make driving easier and more efficient; this is reflected not only in the answers that drivers of these cars give on market research surveys, but also in their driving behaviors. Wired recently published a report about the driving habits of owners of partially autonomous vehicles. The report compared the owners of Tesla cars with the Autopilot feature to Tesla owners whose cars do not have the Autopilot feature. It found that the drivers with Autopilot on their cars drive an average of 4,888 more miles per year than those whose cars do not have Autopilot. That is the equivalent of the Autopilot drivers making an additional supermarket run each day.
The report did not specifically address distracted driving, but in general, more driving means more opportunities for trouble. Assuming that the Autopilot drivers really are going on supermarket runs instead of road trips, those 400 miles of driving per month amount to about 13 hours per month that they could otherwise spend sleeping or doing something that requires less alertness than driving. It also means 13 hours’ worth of text messages and phone calls that could have been received when the car owners were not driving. The report does not necessarily indicate careless driving, but it indicates non-essential driving.
Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey About Partially Autonomous Vehicle Accidents
Partially autonomous vehicles may be safe, but only when they do not crash into your car. A car accident lawyer can help you if you get injured in a car accident involving a partially autonomous vehicle. Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey in Houma, Louisiana to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit.