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Americans Fear Self-Driving Cars

Posted on behalf of Lynch Law Firm on Mar 16, 2017  in Car Accidents News

self-driving car courseDespite promises of improved safety, convenience and efficiency offered by self-driving cars, most U.S. drivers say they would not feel safe with fully autonomous vehicles on the roads, according to a study from AAA.

The study found that three-quarters of Americans are afraid to ride in a self-driving car and only 10 percent think self-driving cars would make the roads safer.

However, although they are afraid of sharing the road with fully autonomous vehicles, a majority say they would like semi-autonomous features in their next vehicle. Most newer vehicles on the roads are equipped with some self-driving capabilities already, such as self-parking technology, lane assist, adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking – technology that has proven beneficial in preventing car accidents.

Yet, despite advancements in the technology in recent years, there remains no national regulation on how this technology should be developed and implemented. The NHTSA has issued some guidance for automated vehicle technology, but mostly left it up to the states to create their own laws. New Jersey has not yet enacted self-driving vehicle legislation.

AAA thinks this is likely the root cause of American’s fear of self-driving cars, as most systems today vary greatly from one vehicle to another. There remains a level of uncertainty about the technology.

AAA’s survey found that 81 percent of U.S. drivers think this technology should work similarly and consistently across all models.

Study Findings

A further analysis of the data shows that:

  • Women are more likely to be afraid of riding in a self-driving car than men: 85 percent compared to 69 percent.
  • 60 percent of baby boomers feel less safe with autonomous vehicles on the road, compared to 56 percent of Generation X and 41 percent of millennials.
  • 59 percent of drivers want autonomous features in their next vehicle, while 25 percent do not and 16 percent are unsure.
  • More millennials (70 percent) want self-driving technology than any other generation. Just 54 percent of Generation X and 51 percent of baby boomers want it.
  • Baby boomers (85 percent) are most likely to be afraid of riding in a self-driving vehicle, compared to 75 percent of Generation X and 73 percent of millennials.

A Need for Self-Driving Cars

AAA has stated that it is committed to working toward safer roads, which the organization believes will include autonomous vehicles in the future. Safety advocates recognize that most car accidents are the result of driver error, which is a problem self-driving cars will not have.

Preliminary numbers from the National Safety Council show that approximately 40,000 people died in traffic accidents in 2016. That is a six percent increase from 2015 and a 14 percent increase from 2014, the largest two-year increase in 53 years.

Distracted driving, driving under the influence and speeding are considered to be the leading causes of the increases in traffic fatalities in recent years.

Until the time that only autonomous vehicles are on the roads, driver error will continue to cause accidents. If you have been injured or lost someone you love because of a negligent driver, our New Jersey car accident lawyers can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Call (800) 518-0508 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form.

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