Self-Driving Cars Bad News for Personal Injury Lawyers?

With Honda and Chevy now joining Tesla in making self-driving or semi-driverless cars, the days of auto accidents may be numbered. No crashes, no personal injury lawyers needed thank you.

Tesla pioneered cars on auto-pilot with its pricy Model S. Just last week it announce a budget ($35K – $40K, if that’s budget to you) Model 3, with the same autopilot tech found in the Model S.

Ford’s 2017 Fusion promises “stop-and-go” auto braking system, as reported by the Washington Post. Infinity has been touting the same in TV commercials for their luxury vehicles.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 92% of all traffic accidents are cause by driver error. Crashes caused by mechanical defects are at an all time low, primarily due to safety features, such as multiple airbags, tire inflation sensors, traction control, all wheel drive and collision avoidance systems.

But driving by sensor has its dangers too. Last winter, self-driving cars suffered problems in heavy snow and ice, which clogged sensors and distorted the radar wave images which make these system work. Poor roads, potholes, and inadequate lane striping can result in input errors in autonomous driving systems.

Self-driving cars run the risk of diminishing driver skills. What happens when the autopilot systems shuts down? Will people remember how to drive? Doubters draw an analogy with manual transmissions. Without continual use, drivers forget how to shift gears manually.