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Self Driving Cars. Is safer safe enough?

In a recent study published by the Rand Corporation, they concluded that getting self driving cars on the road that have a safety improvement factor of even 10 percent above human driving safety performance can save upwards of hundreds of thousands of lives. A main concern about deploying self driving vehicles has been the need to test them to reach levels of 75 to 90 percent safety performance rates. Authors Nidhi Kalra and David G. Groves wrote an article referring to the Rand study that concluded, "In the short term, more lives are cumulatively saved under a more permissive policy (Improve10) than stricter policies requiring greater safety advancements (Improve75 or Improve90) in nearly all conditions, and those savings can be significant - hundreds of thousands of lives."
This is good news for Waymo, a subsidiary of Google's parent company Alphabet who have begun the first public tests of self-driving cars without backup drivers in Phoenix Arizona. Initially all test passengers will be Waymo employees but eventually Waymo will open its doors to Arizona residents. The model will follow a ride hailing service rather than producing vehicles for private ownership and use.
One of the largest obstacles with determining the safety of self driving cars is the fact that currently there is no standardized reliable testing system in place. A recent NPR article referring to this issue states, "There isn't a set system in place on just how safety can be measured without putting cars on the street. How can we know when an autonomous car actually reaches the point of being safer than a human, if ever?"
Current legislation is being explored to try to regulate the production and use of self driving cars. However, there are several other issues at play. Will the public at large accept self driving cars? Who is liable if a self driving car is in an accident? Is a safer self driving car really safe enough? It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the world of personal injuries. In the meantime, if you or someone you know is injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact our office for a free consultation. We can help. 

Lost Wages: An additional cost of motor vehicle accidents

Most people who are injured in an motor vehicle accident are aware of the costs associated with medical treatment. But an additional cost that is not always considered is lost wages as result of the injury. When a person sustains an injury they may encounter lost wages because they were unable to work during their recovery period. If an injury results in a permanent disability, a person might experience a loss of earning capacity because of a change in their ability to perform work related tasks. Others might experience a loss of opportunity for income if their injuries prevent them from attending job interviews.

Texting and Driving "Textalyzer": Does it keep you safe or violate your right to privacy?

There is no national ban on texting and driving, however, many states including Utah have created laws banning texting and driving. Even though a recent poll suggests that 90% of American drivers agree that texting and driving is unsafe, The Federal Communications Commission reports that:

Bicycle Safety Tips

Now that the weather is warming up, people are dusting off their helmets and pulling out their bicycles for transportation as well as recreation. And just like drivers have to adjust to the first snow covered road, seasonal cyclists need a refresher of the rules of the road. In many states, including Utah, bicycles are considered vehicles and cyclists must follow all of the same traffic rules and regulations as motor vehicles. Read here for Utah state bicycle laws.

Road Trip Safety Tips

Spring break and warmer weather means road trip season has begun. There is nothing like loading up the car with your gear and your favorite people and hitting the open road in search of adventure. But we all have that story of the time we were stranded by the side of the road because the tire blew out and we didn't have a spare, or the three extra hours tacked onto the length of the trip from driving in circles in the desert after our phone battery died and we lost our GPS. Those stories make for amusing anecdotes at a dinner party, but aren't too funny in the moment.

4 ways to spot a distracted driver

Imagine driving to work and traffic slowly comes to a stop. You apply the brake and come to a halt, dreading the long wait until traffic starts to move again. Unfortunately, the driver behind you was too busy texting his boss that he was going to be late and failed to notice that the cars in front of him were not moving. Now, you have a nasty case of whiplash and a car that vaguely resembles an accordion.

4 emotional issues you could experience after a car accident

You're heading home from a long day at the office, driving in rush hour traffic, when someone tries to run a red light - everyone's in a hurry at 5:30 - and hits your car. Your physical injuries are significant, but they'll heal.

Never just "walk away" after being hit by a car while cycling

Every morning before work, you wake up to log some miles on your road bike. You have been training for the last few months for the annual century ride in the spring. Usually, traffic is not very heavy, so you have become a little too complacent about the risk of cycling every morning.

Accidents & Self Driving Cars

Imagine that you're on a cross country road trip in your brand new self-driving car. It's hour six with only two hours to go. You've been enjoying the scenery, maybe a book and pleasant conversation with your fellow passengers. Suddenly, a large deer crosses your path and the vehicle's brakes lock. Will you be able to react fast enough?

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