Do self-driving cars really prevent accidents from occurring on the road? Most people would think they would due to the multiple technological advances such as the 360-degree sensors or the self-parking feature. But according to a study done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), autonomous vehicles are not the answer to eliminating vehicular accidents. The IIHS examined 5,000 crashes and determined that self-driving cars are only capable of preventing one third of automobile accidents. The Institute found certain driving mistakes such as misjudging speeds of other vehicles or high speeds on dangerous roads cannot be prevented from the current state of autonomous vehicles.
In response, Partners for Automated Vehicle Education stated that self-driving cars can prevent 72% of the crashes that occur on the road and that it is “fundamentally speculative” to predict accident avoidance rates. The Alliance for Automotive Innovation also released a statement saying reducing traffic fatalities by even a third is an accomplishment and the industry is aiming to do more. The IIHS, along with other groups, believe that prioritizing safety for drivers is the answer to decreasing vehicular accidents and manufacturers can ensure their safety by making their autonomous cars follow all traffic laws. If all autonomous cars are driving the speed limit and safely, then the driver’s safety on the road is increased.