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The real reason we need self-driving cars: Safety

Self-driving cars sound so George Jetson, who wouldn't want one? Casually sipping your coffee and reading a book (or taking a nap) during your morning commute would be better than stressing out while navigating bump-to-bumper traffic. But is convenience and exciting tech the reason we need self-driving cars?

The real reason for the implementation of self-driving cars is safety. Driving enthusiasts and "gearhead" purists will protest against anything that takes their feet away from the gas pedal. However, if we get realistic about driving safety, it's humans and their inability to follow common sense safety practices -- and their propensity for breaking the law -- that are the real safety problems. With the rise of distracting smartphones, and nearly everyone getting addicted to them, the situation is only getting worse.

Humans are the roadblock to driver safety

It doesn't matter how many airbags you put into a car and it doesn't matter how dedicated you are to safe driving practices, it seems that there will be countless other motorists swerving through traffic while drunk, distracted by smartphones, speeding and endangering responsible drivers in countless ways.

What kind of driverless car safety benefits will we receive by replacing human drivers? Here are just a few:

  • Driver error causes 94 percent of all motor vehicle crashes in the United States according to government statistics. When self-driving car technology matures, it will eradicate this factor from the driving equation.
  • The most exciting areas of safety improvement associated with driverless technology relate to the eradication of accidents, injuries and deaths caused by intoxicated driving, speeding, distracted driving and failure to use seatbelts.
  • Improving safety in the above two areas will make auto collisions rare. There are many non-safety-related benefits as well, including:

Money saving for individual insurance rates and for society as a whole due to the reduction of crashes, damages and injuries.

  • Greater mobility for seniors and people with disabilities
  • Reduced traffic congestion
  • More efficient use of energy
  • Increased convenience as vehicles can park themselves and occupants can engage in a plethora of other tasks while riding in their self-driving cars

Can you let go of your love of driving in the name of safety?

Many people will be excited to jump onto the self-driving bandwagon, while others will be hesitant to give up their love of driving. In the meantime, however, we're a long way from having to make a decision like this and we will have to endure the numerous and potentially fatal dangers that are commonplace on American roadways.

If you or someone you love was tragically injured in an auto accident, the dangers of human-driven vehicles have hit much too close to home. Make sure you understand your legal rights and options to determine if you can pursue financial compensation in court.

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