According to a recent Rand report, self-driving cars in South Carolina and throughout the country would need to drive millions, or perhaps billions, of miles before they are truly considered safe vehicles. News reports issued during the past several years have suggested that self-driving cars will reduce traffic congestion and car accidents. However, self-driving vehicles may not have ample safety controls to warrant their so-called preventive features.

One noteworthy example involves the case of a Tesla driver who was killed in a car crash while his vehicle was driving on the “autopilot” setting. The car’s autopilot feature was not programmed to notice a white truck and did not use the brakes. In March 2018, Uber stopped testing self-driving automobiles upon hearing that a car fatally struck an Arizona pedestrian. However, the Pennsylvania Department of Transport authorized testing self-driving cars in Pittsburgh at the end of 2018.

The Rand report expresses a warning about self-driving vehicles. In addition to the fact that they have only been in use for a couple of years, a vehicle is not necessarily programmed to know how to deal with a drunk driver or a distracted driver. There is no proof that a self-driving car will not cause serious injuries, so further testing is recommended before state laws permit unrestricted usage.

Many Americans incur serious injuries caused by car accidents. Some of these injuries result in lost wages and costly medical expenses. It only takes one head-on collision to cause a permanent disability resulting in the inability to hold down a job paying decent wages. Whether a serious injury is caused by a negligent driver who is texting or a drunk driver, the injured person may wish to contact a personal injury lawyer about pursuing compensation from the liable party.