One of the selling points for electronic driver-assist systems has always been that they would eventually make the roads across Florida and the rest of the United States safer. There has been anecdotal evidence about fatal accidents caused by these self-driving cars, but in general, the question remains whether these systems reduce accidents or not. According to a new study, they have indeed made the roads safer.
The study, authored by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), says that at least in the case of blind-spot detection and lane-departure warnings these driver-assist systems are helping. Compared to vehicles without self-driving systems, these vehicles reduce the rate of single-vehicle sideswipe crashes and head-on crashes by 18 percent. Injuries in these accidents have also been reduced by 24 percent. Furthermore, fatal accidents in these situations were reduced by 86 percent.
Even when taking into account other factors like driver age and risk level, driverless cars reduced crash rates by 11 percent and the injury rate by 21 percent. While these numbers are positive, other studies have actually indicated even better results. A 2015 study indicated that lane-departure warnings cut the rate of crashes by 50 percent. However, other studies have suggested that the lower injury rate could be due to the fact that vehicles with driver-assist systems are typically newer. It is possible the lower injury rate is related to other safety features a new vehicle might contain.
While these figures are promising, it must be noted that car accidents will continue to be a factor on Florida roads. A driver who has been injured in a car wreck caused by the negligence of another may have a claim for damages. These damages can include lost wages, medical bills and property damage repair costs.