The Pros and Cons of Self-Driving Cars

Self-driving cars have been all over the news lately. Popular ride-sharing service Uber recently announced plans to incorporate them into their program in Philadelphia. Ford suggested that its self-driving cars might become a reality by 2020. Self-driving cars are a very interesting development in safe driving technology. They could cut down on car accidents, particularly those related to intoxicated and distracted driving. With self-driving cars, travel could potentially become safer and faster. Self-driving cars certainly look cool. But the real question is, are they safe?


Self-driving cars might cut down on accidents. The majority of car accidents result from distracted or intoxicated driving. Many other accidents are simply the result of human error, like overcorrecting. A computer-driven car would take human error out of the equation, potentially cutting down on the number of car accidents. Self-driving cars will also be equipped with special safety features, like automatic brakes or self-parking.


On the other hand, self-driving cars present unique dangers and legal matters. These cars might not be able to handle roadblocks, certain traffic patterns, or human signals, like a police officer conducting traffic. It is also unclear if they can handle certain weather conditions. since they function with computers and sensors. They might be negatively affected by heavy rain, for example. If the cars are hindered by rain, that could be a major issue, especially in a rainy state like Florida.

While self-driving cars would likely cut down on accidents, they also make liability for accidents more complicated. For example, if the car is driving on its own, then who is liable in an accident? Would the fault fall on the “driver” of the car, or could the car itself be at fault? Self-driving cars would create a new type of car accident liability that has been previously unseen in the legal field. They would also make us more reliant on technology, which could have negative effects. In the event of a computer glitch or technology change, people would lose their learned driving skills.

Self-driving cars have a variety of safety, economic, and legal pros and cons. The debate and discussion over them will continue to grow. We’ll see what the future brings!


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.


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