Research into the Safety of Self-Driving Cars

Autonomous cars were initially seen as a safer option on our roads because they can reduce the number of human errors which can cause traffic crashes in Hollywood and other Florida communities. However, some crashes involving self-driving cars have raised questions about the true safety of these vehicles.


Can these cars reduce the number of car and pedestrian accidents in Hollywood and around the country, or do they merely change the types of dangers we face on our roads?

New research suggests a new potential link between self-driving cars and distraction. Francesco Biondi, a researcher at the University of Utah has been one of a number of experts measuring the effects of driverless cars on driver behavior and safety. His results have not always been reassuring.

Biondi’s research asked drivers to drive self-driving cars both manually and using the driverless car technology. Motorists wore video recorders and devices to measure brain waves as they drove so scientists could compare reactions.  While the research is ongoing, early reports suggest that when drivers used the auto pilot feature of the cars, they experienced larger heart rate variations and lower average heart rate when compared with manual driving. This, according to researchers, indicates a “state of relaxation” and mind-wandering.

Researchers found that drivers operating cars with driverless technology had longer response times when compared with other drivers in distracted driving studies. Cameras in the project showed motorists having trouble staying awake and frequently yawning.

The bottom line, so far, is that driverless technology itself is distracting and may create a lack of engagement with the driving conditions around the motorist. This can be a potential problem. Driverless cars are created so that motorists can gain control of the car as they need to. If drivers are not looking and checking to see whether a preventable accident can be prevented and if they remain distracted in the car because they think the vehicle does not need their input, is there potential for preventable accidents? So far, researchers are doing more investigation to give us a clearer picture.

No matter what kind of vehicle or driver caused your accident, if you have been injured you deserve answers. If another driver or if a negligent manufacturer caused your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries or you may have a legal claim. To learn more, speak to a Hollywood car accident attorney today by contacting Flaxman Law Group for a free accident consultation.

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