Posted on Monday, December 19th, 2016 at 2:32 am    

Proponents of self-driving cars say they make our roads safer by reducing the number of car accidents due to driver error. A vehicle does not become distracted from texting, grooming, reading, or adjusting controls. However, some people are not comfortable with self-driving vehicles. Recent news coverage of accidents involving autonomous vehicles highlights the fact these vehicles are not immune from motor vehicle accidents. How do you feel about sharing the road with these vehicles?

Is Sacramento The Place for Self-Driving Vehicles?

If things work out, the residents of Sacramento will share their roads with self-driving vehicles. According to a news story published in The Sacramento Bee, the new mayor of Sacramento, Darrell Steinberg, is pushing for Sacramento to become the place for manufacturers to test their autonomous vehicles. If the city’s application to be designated as an automated vehicle proving ground is approved, it could be another step in the plan to make Sacramento a “trailblazer” and “technological innovator.”

Pursuant to information published in The Sacramento Bee, the city has already mapped out the route the driverless vehicles will follow in Sacramento. The test route encompasses Interstate 5 to and from the Sacramento International Airport and the Central City grid. If you drive these routes each day, you may begin to see more test cars sharing the road with you on your commute.

Technology Used to Reduce Car Accidents

Technology is already being used to reduce car accidents. Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) systems are designed to prevent or reduce the severity of a rear-end collision. AEB systems sense when the vehicle is approaching another vehicle. If the driver does not engage the brakes, the AEB system warns the driver. If the driver does not respond to the warning, the AEB system can engage the brakes.

Other safety technology available on some vehicle models include:

  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Lane-Keep Assist
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Adaptive Headlights
  • Collision Warning System
  • Active Park Assist
  • 360-Degree Camera
  • Drowsiness Alert

Safety experts urge vehicle manufacturers to add more safety features to the standard models of their vehicles. If more vehicles had standard safety features, experts believe the number of motor vehicle accidents would decline.

Drivers Are Still Responsible

The best technology cannot prevent all driver error. Drivers must remain alert and focus their attention on the task of driving to avoid an accident. Drivers must also refrain from making poor decisions such as driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol, driving while drowsy, and driving aggressively. If a driver causes an accident, he or she is responsible for the damages caused by that accident.

Examples of damages in a car accident include:

  • Medical expenses, including emergency room visits, physical therapy, and surgery costs
  • Lost wages, including future lost income and loss of earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Physical pain, permanent disability, and emotional distress

An accident victim may be entitled to compensation for other damages, depending on the facts of the case. Our Sacramento car accident attorney can provide additional information.

Contact a Sacramento Car Accident Attorney for More Information

If you have been injured, you may be entitled to file a claim for damages. Contact our Sacramento car accident attorney for a free case evaluation.

Call the Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 to schedule your free appointment with an attorney. Because your first appointment is free, there is no reason why you should not get legal advice about California personal injury claims before you deal with the insurance company for the other driver.

Source: “Could Sacramento become the nation’s hub for testing of self-driving cars,” The Sacramento Bee, Tony Bizjak, December 15, 2016

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