As self-driving cars become more popular in Wisconsin and across the United States, experts are beginning to wonder about the effect that the vehicles will have on accident numbers. More than 3,000 people are killed each day across the nation due to a car accident. Though some of the features of semi-autonomous cars can make driving safer, these vehicles do pose some risks.

Risk of complacency and distraction

Many vehicles today have some self-driving features via assisted driving. These features allow vehicles to parallel park, back into a spot, adjust steering and apply automatic brakes if a vehicle gets too close to another. While some experts believe that car accidents may be reduced with these features, others believe that assisted driving may make drivers complacent. These vehicles still rely on humans to operate properly; becoming complacent may cause drivers to become distracted and limit reaction times.

The Journal of Safety Research found that drivers who used automated driving had slower reaction times than those who drove normal vehicles. Technological issues also pose a concern; the artificial intelligence systems that make up autonomous vehicles require constant input and output of data. This data tells the vehicle how to react in a given situation. Though computers typically are faster than the human brain, slowed input and output can cause the car to lag, potentially causing an accident to occur.

Pursuing compensation after an accident

Those injured in an accident due to a distracted driver may face costly medical expenses, lost wages due to time off work and pain and suffering. Those who have lost a loved one in an accident might be able to file a wrongful death suit to recover some medical and compensatory damages from the vehicle manufacturer or car operator. A personal injury lawyer may be able to offer advice and file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the family members who lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident.