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- Autonomous vehicles, AVs, decrease the risk of injury-causing and fatal accidents compared to conventional vehicles.
- Most accidents involving AVs result in property damage rather than severe injuries or fatalities.
- The rapid-response system of AVs minimizes crash impacts.
The grave cost of traffic incidents
In 2020 in the U.S., nearly 36,000 lives were lost, and over 1.5 million were injured due to traffic mishaps. The cost anticipated in 2022 is a whopping $474 billion. Globally, approximately 1.2 million people die in traffic each year.
94 percent of these crashes are attributed to driver errors like alcohol, fatigue, and distractions.
The introduction of autonomous vehicles, AVs, promises a shift in these dire statistics.
Evaluating AV safety: Disengagements and crash patterns
Three researchers have studied data on how self-driving cars compare to human-driven cars.
Disengagement, which is when an AV switches to manual mode, shows a decrease as technology evolves, indicating increasing AV reliability.
AV = Autonomous vehicle (self-driving car)
CV = Conventional vehicle (human-driven)
- Injury-causing crashes: The probability of a crash leading to an injury is significantly lower in AVs (11.7%) than in CVs (30.3%). This is a testament to the quick-response mechanism of AVs that minimizes potential threats.
- Fatal crashes: Even with a slight difference, AVs still outperform CVs in terms of fatal accidents. Fatal crashes are more common in CVs (0.7%) than in AVs (0.6%).
AVs will become extremely safe
Self-driving cars will be many times safer than human-driven cars and save millions of lives and stop even more people from getting hurt.
The early data indicates that this prediction will hold true.