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Humans often at fault in crashes with self-driving cars

Many people in New Mexico are curious about the potential of self-driving cars to change the future of transportation. While several car accidents involving autonomous vehicles have made the news, these crashes usually involve something of interest or noteworthy to the general population. However, many more mundane crashes occur in areas where self-driving cars are being tested, and most of them are the fault of human drivers.

In September, three autonomous vehicles were sideswiped by human drivers. Three more were hit from behind that same month. In one case, an autonomous vehicle was hit from behind by a human driving the same car in semi-autonomous mode. People often see self-driving cars as a way to significantly reduce or eliminate the 40,000 fatalities that occur each year as a result of car accidents, most involving some form of negligent or dangerous driving. However, the technology is still years away from consumer readiness, and there are no clear government regulations for its use on the roads.

California state law requires accident reports, however, and these can indicate the ways in which autonomous vehicles interact with human drivers. Statistics indicate that 57 percent of these crashes involve humans rear-ending the cars. This could indicate the level of distracted driving on the road; distracted drivers are more likely to have difficulty stopping when another car brakes. Of course, these accidents could also indicate that self-driving cars are more likely to stop randomly or inappropriately.

Today, human drivers are still responsible for most of the vehicles on the roads and the car crashes that follow. Auto accidents can lead to serious injuries and lifelong disabilities, and they are often caused by negligent, dangerous driving. Someone who has been hurt due to a collision can work with a personal injury lawyer to pursue compensation for damages such as lost wages and medical bills.

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