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Key Stats to Know About Autonomous Driving Vehicle Accidents

As we progress through the second millennium, inventors, entrepreneurs, and transportation enthusiasts all have their eyes fixated on the possibility of autonomous vehicles or a driverless car. Cars that drive themselves can seem pretty Jetsons on the first brush but are actually rather close to becoming common. While the technology to create driverless vehicles already exists, automotive companies are striving to innovate new ways to ensure their safety. In order to understand the statistics about accidents that relate to autonomous vehicles, you must understand a few things about how they are characterized.

About Driverless Cars: Autonomous Vehicles

Driverless cars, also known as autonomous vehicles, are vehicles that can operate on roads without human intervention. They use various sensors, cameras, and advanced computing systems to perceive their environment, navigate, and make decisions about driving, all without the need for a human driver.

Here are some key points about driverless cars:

  1. Sensing and Perception: Driverless cars use a combination of sensors, such as lidar, radar, cameras, and GPS, to gather data about their surroundings. These sensors help the car to perceive its environment, including identifying other vehicles, pedestrians, obstacles, and road markings.
  2. Navigation and Decision-making: Autonomous vehicles use complex algorithms and machine learning algorithms to process the sensor data and make decisions about how the vehicle should respond. This includes determining the optimal route, adjusting speed, and making decisions in real-time to avoid collisions and follow traffic laws.
  3. Connectivity: Many driverless cars are equipped with wireless connectivity that allows them to communicate with other vehicles, infrastructure, and traffic management systems. This can help improve safety, optimize traffic flow, and enable coordination among vehicles.
  4. Safety: One of the main advantages of driverless cars is the potential to significantly reduce accidents caused by human error, which is a leading cause of traffic accidents. Autonomous vehicles are designed to follow traffic laws, maintain safe distances, and react quickly to changing situations, which can help reduce the number of accidents on the road.
  5. Benefits: Driverless cars have the potential to revolutionize the transportation industry by improving safety, reducing traffic congestion, increasing fuel efficiency, and providing transportation options for those who are unable to drive, such as the elderly or disabled. They can also free up time for passengers, reduce the need for parking space, and have the potential to reshape urban planning and infrastructure.
  6. Challenges: Despite the promise of driverless cars, there are also significant challenges that need to be addressed. These include regulatory and legal issues, concerns about cybersecurity and data privacy, ethical considerations related to decision-making in complex situations, and the need for extensive testing and validation to ensure safety and reliability.
  7. Current State: As of 2021, driverless cars are still in the development and testing stage, with limited deployment in some controlled environments and pilot programs. Several companies, including major automakers and technology companies, are actively working on developing autonomous vehicle technology, and there is ongoing research and investment in this field.

In conclusion, driverless cars have the potential to transform the way we travel and interact with transportation systems. While there are still challenges to overcome, the development of autonomous vehicle technology continues to progress, and it is expected to have a significant impact on the future of transportation.

Autonomous Vehicle Accident Statistics

Levels of Autonomous Vehicle

There are a few different ways autonomous vehicles can be categorized, depending on their level of autonomy.

  • Level 3 autonomous vehicles can drive themselves but are made with the expectation that the “driver” of the car will be able to jump in when needed, after a certain level of warning is provided to the driver. That means that, after a few seconds, a driver should be ready to retain control of the car in order to get to safety or correct the mechanical issue.
  • Level 2 autonomous vehicles are not considered autonomous at all, and are instead “automated.” These cars require that drivers maintain their alertness and attention on the road so that they can hop back into a true driver role without too much warning.

Fatalities in Autonomous Vehicle-Involved Accidents

Since 2013 when autonomous vehicles were introduced to the streets in a few key areas, driverless vehicle accident rates have been reported.  There are five fatalities involving level 2 autonomous vehicles. Four of these accidents were in the United States, while one was in China. In four of the accidents, the vehicle in question was a Tesla level 2 autonomous car, and the driver was killed. The last accident was an incident involving a pilot of “robotaxis” in California, and it killed a pedestrian.

How People Feel About Driverless Cars

Generally, people who are familiar with driverless cars feel comfortable riding in one. However, only 16% percent of individuals feel comfortable having autonomous vehicles have full control of driving them from point A to point B, so there may be a hard road ahead for fully autonomous vehicles.

What Would Happen If you Were In an Accident with A Driverless Car?

If you were involved in an accident with a driverless car, the response and outcome would be similar to an accident involving a human-driven car, with some additional considerations related to the autonomous nature of the other vehicle. Here are some possible scenarios:

  1. Safety and medical assistance: The immediate priority would be to ensure your safety and well-being, as well as the safety of any other individuals involved in the accident. If you or anyone else requires medical assistance, it should be sought promptly.
  2. Exchange of information: As in any accident, you would need to exchange information with the other party involved. This may include obtaining the driverless car’s information, such as the make, model, and license plate number, as well as the contact information of the vehicle owner or operator. It’s also a good idea to gather contact information from any witnesses to the accident.
  3. Accident investigation: The accident may be investigated by law enforcement and other relevant authorities to determine the cause of the accident and establish liability. This could involve collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, and reviewing any available data from the driverless car’s sensors or logs.
  4. Legal and insurance considerations: Determining liability and responsibility in an accident involving a driverless car can be complex. Depending on the circumstances, liability could be attributed to the owner of the driverless car, the vehicle’s manufacturer, or the software developer responsible for the autonomous technology. Insurance policies for autonomous vehicles may also come into play to cover damages and injuries.
  5. Resolution and compensation: As with any accident, resolution and compensation for damages and injuries would depend on various factors, including the specific circumstances of the accident, applicable laws and regulations, and the insurance coverage of the parties involved. Legal and insurance processes may be involved in determining fault, evaluating damages, and reaching a settlement or going to court if necessary.

It’s important to note that the specific outcome of an accident involving a driverless car would depend on many factors, and it’s advisable to seek legal and/or insurance advice to navigate the complex legal and insurance considerations associated with such accidents. As autonomous vehicles continue to develop and become more prevalent, laws and regulations may evolve to address the unique challenges and considerations associated with this technology.


With over 100 years of combined experience among the legal team of Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., our Texas personal injury attorneys have successfully resolved over 20,000 cases. When representing injured Texas residents, we fight for justice against wrongdoing and aggressively pursue the best resolution to complex personal injury claims.

If you or a loved one was injured, please contact us for a free initial consultation and case evaluation. Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., is a locally based law firm focused on holding negligent individuals and companies accountable for their wrongdoing. We are not a personal injury mill that advertises nationwide. We provide individualized advocacy in attending to all aspects of claims that involve. Our firm has offices in the following locations: Corpus ChristiCorpus Christi South SideBrownsvilleMcAllenSan AntonioHouston, and Ft. Worth, TX.

We remain by our clients’ side, handling all aspects of their claims and attending to all legal, medical and financial needs. That dedication is combined with experience, legal knowledge, and insight from a former insurance adjuster and several former insurance defense attorneys. Whether our clients are suffering from physical pain from an accident or the emotional grief of death, we treat clients with compassion. We put their mind at ease during difficult times by answering their questions concerning the length of their claim, medical bills, financial compensation and their overall need for a lawyer.