California drivers may have heard about the driver who was killed in March 2018 while their Tesla was on autopilot; in another accident involving an autonomous vehicle, a self-driving Uber car hit and killed an Arizona pedestrian. However, some experts caution that it is important not to react disproportionately to a low number of accidents by autonomous cars since they can significantly improve highway safety.
More than 35,000 people die in car accidents throughout the country annually, and 90 percent of motor vehicle accidents happen because of human error. By comparison, the number of accidents caused by autonomous vehicles is much lower, so it stands to reason that they could save lives.
It may be difficult for people to accept that autonomous cars still have occasional accidents. The governor of Arizona stopped any further testing of the company's self-driving cars in the state, and the company voluntarily stopped its testing in other states. However, pedestrian deaths with human drivers behind the wheel remain a problem, and the rate of accidents involving elderly drivers is growing at a rate that outpaces the increase in that population.
The different companies that are testing self-driving cars are taking different approaches, and further regulation of that testing could impair their flexibility. Furthermore, companies such as Tesla have been transparent in sharing information related to accidents.
Unfortunately, even if research into autonomous cars receives support and assistance from both the public and government bodies, there is still plenty of testing and development ahead before they will replace regular cars. A person who is injured in an accident and not at fault may want to consult an auto accident attorney. While an injured person might expect compensation from the insurance company of the driver who caused the accident, this does not always happen. An attorney might be able to help victims pursue the compensation to which they are entitled.