Self driving accidents needlessly occur because despite multiple warnings and countless high-profile crash stories, drivers who frequently employ partial automation treat their vehicles as completely self-driving, according to a recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) study.
Drivers who regularly use Tesla Autopilot, Nissan/Infiniti ProPILOT Assist, and Cadillac Super Cruise reported that they were more likely to engage in non-driving activities while using these systems than when driving without assistance, such as eating or texting. More concerningly, 53% of Super Cruise users, 42% of Autopilot users, and 12% of ProPILOT Assist users stated they felt confident treating their cars like fully autonomous vehicles.
“The big-picture message here is that the early adopters of these systems still have a poor understanding of the technology’s limits,” IIHS President David Harkey says. “But we also see clear differences among the three owner populations. It’s possible that system design and marketing are adding to these misconceptions.”
Self Driving Accidents Preventable
The majority of partial automation systems on the market today have two key components that are intended to help with highway driving. With adaptive cruise control, the vehicle maintains a constant speed while automatically decelerating and accelerating to maintain a certain following distance from the vehicles in front of it. While doing so, lane centering continuously supports the steering to keep the car in the middle of the travel lane. Some systems can even change lanes and conduct other complex operations.
Self-driving technologies in use today are intended to substitute for human drivers or to make it safe for them to engage in other activities that divert their attention from the road. Many common driving conditions and road elements are difficult for today’s partial automation systems to understand and respond to, as shown by track tests and real-world incidents. Previous studies have demonstrated that the high amount of help they offer makes it difficult for drivers to stay focused and tempts them to divert their attention, a major cause of self driving accidents.
IIHS Research Scientist Alexandra Mueller says studies show a need for safeguards to prevent self driving accidents. “Many of these drivers said they had experiences where they had to suddenly take over the driving because the automation did something unexpected, sometimes while they were doing something they were not supposed to,” she said.
Self driving accidents ultimately come down to negligence or carelessness because, no matter how smart the technology, the driver is responsible for preventing accidents. If you’ve been injured due to someone’s negligence, talk with an Orlando car accident attorney at the Martinez Manglardi personal injury law firm. Call 866-730-3508 for a free consultation. Convenient locations throughout Central Florida.