Driving Dangers: On and Off the Wheel
While during our childhood we may have envisioned hovercrafts and teleportation devices as part of our future, we have not quite arrived there yet. However, self-driving, or automated, cars are quickly becoming a reality. Google has already taken their prototypes on the road and estimates that within ten years, such cars will not even have a steering wheel or pedals.
Automated Driving: Convenient or Dangerous?
Consumers, automakers, and investment companies are all split on what impact self-driving cars could have on our safety. One school of thought is that automated driving will take reflexes, fear, and blind spots out of the picture, leading to road safety. An automated car will be calibrated to respond to situations before they occur, making decisions before a driver would even know the decision needed to be made. People could increase productivity, being able to lounge in the backseat instead of having to focus on the road.
On the other hand, there is something to be said for keeping our hands at 10 and 2. Despite 2014 being plagued with the most auto recalls in history, driving a car is safer than ever. New safety features such as curtain airbags and back up cameras have reduced accidents significantly, to the point where the Economist recently reported that for the first time ever, guns will kill more people in the United States than cars. Improved safety features in infant seats, increased seatbelt regulations, and additional anti-drunk driving campaigns have also likely contributed to this trend.
Even with improved safety features, 2,407 Floridians were killed in auto accidents in 2013, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety: Highway Loss Data Institute. Handheld devices such as iPods and cellular phones are contributing to distracted driving more than ever, and these distractions continue to create accidents. Considering that a self-driving car would allow the driver to relinquish complete control of driving and keep their eyes off the road entirely, this is something that is difficult for most people to comprehend at this time.
Miami Auto Accident Attorneys
Even though most of us cannot wait to get out hands on the newest technology, many Americans are apprehensive about getting into a self-driving car. It is possible that self-driving cars will be a gradual progression; perhaps designing a car that still has a steering wheel and allows some level of control from the driver will be seen as a reasonable compromise. For now, drivers will still have to sit behind the wheel and be faced with making their own decisions about their attention to the road, their speed, and the effect of their driving on those around them.
If you have been involved in an auto accident, you may be confused about your legal rights. Even if the accident was partially your fault, you may still be entitled to compensation under Florida law. Our knowledgeable auto accident trial attorneys at Alan Goldfarb, P.A. will work with you to ensure you understand your legal options after you have been a victim in a car accident. Contact us at our Miami office today.