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Studies find semi-autonomous cars may have distracted drivers

| Feb 18, 2020 | Car accidents

Some people in Georgia may have heard that autonomous vehicles will make roads much safer. While this may be true, there is some evidence that semi-autonomous vehicles might be making roads less safe. Drivers in semi-autonomous vehicles tend to relax and allow themselves to be distracted, and this means that they do not always react in time when their attention is required.

Distraction can be caused by many things, including the use of cell phones or simply wandering attention as a result of boredom. However, it is also a serious danger. Distracted driving was a factor in the deaths of 3,166 people in 2017. Artificial intelligence can help correct steering and braking when human drivers are inattentive or make errors, but they are not fully autonomous systems. They need human drivers to work with them for maximum safety. According to the “Journal of Safety Research,” drivers in partly-autonomous vehicles may have a slower reaction time.

There are also potential issues with the technology itself. For example, a faulty sensor or bad weather affecting navigation could cause a car to make the wrong “decision.” An attentive human driver could potentially correct this, but for a distracted driver, there may be too much of a lag. It is likely that fully self-driving cars will be safer since they will not rely on a human backup.

When a person causes a motor vehicle accident because of distracted driving and people are injured, that person could be held financially liable. While the person’s insurance company is generally supposed to pay compensation, this is not always a straightforward process. The person may be underinsured, or the insurance company may offer too little money. Individuals who are injured in car accidents may want to contact an attorney to assist in negotiations with the insurance company.

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