Are driverless cars safer? Colorado may soon find out
Almost all car accidents are caused by human error and with more car accidents being caused by distracted or drowsy drivers, safety advocates say something needs to be done. Is the solution to remove humans from the driving equation to reduce fatal car accidents in the U.S.? Some seem to think so.Driverless cars are currently being developed in California by Google and Colorado lawmakers have taken an interest in the impact driverless cars may have on public safety and car accidents in the state. Some Colorado lawmakers are so intrigued by the benefits driverless cars may offer that they have suggested changing state laws that would allow these cars to travel on Colorado roads.Colorado lawmakers have proposed a bill that would allow automated or driverless cars to be used in the state. The bill would still require the vehicle’s owners to have a valid driver’s license as well as require an override switch to allow someone to override the system if the car needed to be driven manually. Individuals travelling in the automated vehicles would be able to text at any time because they would not be driving.Supporters of automated cars say that removing humans from driving a vehicle greatly reduces the risk of car accidents because the vehicle will not be driven by someone who is texting, talking on the phone or being distracted by something else. It would also reduce the risk of drunk driving accidents.
The safety benefits of driverless cars are not yet known but many believe that it will decrease car accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that they want to research how safe and reliable automated vehicles are and that they think driverless vehicles could be a significant factor in reducing car accidents if they work safely.
If the bill is passed, Colorado would become the fifth state to legally allow automatic cars.
Source: CBS Denver, “Driverless Car in Colorado? Lawmakers May Allow Them,” Feb. 4, 2013