Waxahachie, TX (Law Firm Newswire) October 5, 2012 – Google’s self-driving cars have so far traveled approximately 300,000 miles, piloted solely by computers, without causing one single accident.
When it comes to people-piloted cars, however, the statistics show a different story. In the U.S., as of 2008 (the most recent year listed by the U.S. Census Bureau), there were some 10.8 million traffic accidents, resulting in 35.9 million fatalities. State by state statistics also show a high number of incidents.
According to the latest information from the Texas State Department of Transportation, there were just under 58,000 serious injury car accidents in the state in 2011, with almost 80,000 people sustaining a serious injuries. One person was injured every 2 minutes and 29 seconds, according to their report, “Texas Motor Vehicle Crash Statistics – 2011,” one person was killed every two hours, 54 minutes, and crashes occurred every 83 seconds. Accident factors included driving while intoxicated, driver distraction such as texting, speaking on the phone or eating, driving while fatigued, and road rage.
“More than 3,000 crashes in Texas were due to driving and cell phone use,” stated Waxahachie personal injury attorney John Hale. “And while we are a long way from seeing computer-piloted cars in any real capacity on the nation’s roads, or seeing how they reduce accidents and injury, it would be great to see a decline in driver error and to have fewer preventable accidents.”
The Google cars have only logged some 300,000 miles, and have so far avoided snow and ice-slicked highways. But that may soon change. Google Engineer Sebastian Thrun stated that, “According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.2 million lives are lost every year in road traffic accidents. We believe our technology has the potential to cut that number, perhaps by as much as half.”
There may be more cars on the road sooner than expected: the California Senate passed a bill in early September, 2012, which unanimously favored “autonomous vehicle operation,” and allows the California Highway Patrol and the Department of Motor Vehicles to begin setting safety and performance standards for the future. Google’s self-driving car may be available for public transportation next year, as the bill is slated to go into effect in January 2013.
Google launched its self-driving car in 2010 to help prevent traffic accidents.
The Hale Law Firm
100 Executive Court, Suite 3
Waxahachie, TX 75165