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Humans Are To Blame For Self-Driving Car Crashes

November 17, 2017

Atlanta Car Wreck Attorneys Review Claims That Suggests Humans May Be to Blame For Self-Driving Car Crashes

The idea behind self-driving cars is to make riding in a car safer. What limited statistics are available to this point show that the hypothesis could be correct. In California, 34 self-driving vehicles were involved in motor vehicle accidents since 2014. The overwhelming majority of those accidents were caused by human error and usually by a person driving a vehicle other than the autonomous car. Until human error has been removed from the driving equation, there will be car accidents in which people will be severely injured or die as a result. 

According to, the accidents in which a self-driving car was involved may be organized into three categories. The first category is a stopped vehicle. The second type comprises a vehicle traveling ten miles per hour or less, and the final group includes accidents in which the vehicles involved were traveling at speeds more than ten miles per hour. There were 13 accidents involving a stopped car. In all 13 accidents, the conventional vehicle struck the autonomous car. In the second grouping, there were 14 accidents recorded. In all but two of those crashes, the autonomous mode was activated. The autonomous vehicle was at fault for one of the twelve accidents in autonomous mode. The operator of the self-driving car was at fault in one of the two accidents at speeds 10 miles per hour or slower. In the final category, law enforcement recorded seven crashes. The autonomous mode was engaged in only one of those crashes. Law enforcement found fault with the other driver in that crash. The operator of the self-driving car was at fault for one of the six remaining crashes at speeds exceeding 11 miles per hour.

In perhaps one of the most tragic and newsworthy crashes involving an autonomous vehicle, the driver was found to have contributed to the collision. Many people may recall the deadly crash on May 7, 2016, in which the operator of a Tesla was killed when his vehicle struck a semi-truck that had turned in front of him. The preliminary findings by the federal agencies that investigated the accident determined that the autopilot feature was engaged and working properly at the time of the fatal collision.

Further investigation revealed that the driver of the Tesla might have been at fault for the crash. In fact, the driver had set the cruise control at 74 miles per hour a short time before the accident. Additionally, accident reconstruction experts determined that the truck had pulled in front of the speeding Tesla seven seconds before the fatal impact. This would likely have given a driver who was watching the road plenty of time to stop the car or take another evasive action to avoid a collision. The driver, unfortunately, was not paying attention to the road and slammed into the tractor-trailer.

However, there were also problems with the Tesla autopilot to be sure. The vehicle's computer could not distinguish between the bright sky and white tractor-trailer body nor was the vehicle programmed to recognize crossing traffic and engage the auto braking system.

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Category: Auto Accidents

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All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.

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