Self-driving cars, and the technology they promise, have been a major point of discussion for a while now. Manufacturers, lawmakers, and citizens alike believe that they could make American roads safer for all. However, the recent death of a Tesla driver shows us that there is a real, underlying problem with self-driving cars. In a world where drivers are already overly distracted, and where not everyone will be able to afford these technology-driven vehicles, drivers could actually be placed at more risk for an auto accident, not less.
Tragic Death of a Driver Who “Tested Limits” of Tesla
The driver, a Tesla owner and enthusiast, was allegedly well-known for testing the limits of his car. He posted videos to brag about its performance and regularly shared with others the wonders and maneuvering magic of his vehicle. And, for a while, it seemed as though self-driving cars really were worthy of all the media praise they receive. But then, while allegedly watching Harry Potter with the car on autopilot, his car crashed into a tractor-trailer that had turned left in front of him on a Florida highway. He tragically died from his injuries.
The Underlying Problem of Driverless Cars
The Tesla crash points out a serious underlying problem that it seems no one has stopped to consider. America is already full of distracted drivers who falsely assume that they can drive and text, talk, use social media, applications, or watch movies while driving. It only makes sense to assume that these same distracted drivers would then assume that they no longer have to watch the road, or the traffic around them, if they had access to a self-driving car. Much like the driver of the Tesla, these non-engaged drivers would be unprepared and unaware of potential hazards in the road.
Of course, if all the vehicles had a network – a universal one used by all self-driving cars – that risk would be reduced. But what of the drivers who cannot afford self-driving cars. And what about pedestrians? Or animals? How capable can a machine really be when it comes to deciding whether to save the life of the driver or the child that runs into the street after a ball? The truth is, it cannot make the same judgments as a human being, no matter how much we want it to.
Injured by a Distracted Driver? Our Attorneys Can Help
Though self-driving cars like the Tesla are few and far between right now, there are still potentially millions of distracted drivers on American roads each and every day. If you have been injured or lost a loved one because of an accident with one of these drivers, you may be due compensation. Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. can advocate for you in such claims. Skilled, dedicated, and aggressive, we work hard to get you the fair settlement you deserve. Schedule a free initial consultation with our Appleton, Wisconsin distracted driver accident lawyers today to learn more. Call us at 920-739-7366.