It seems highly unlikely that when fully self-driving cars do one day become available on the general market, everyone will go out and get one right away. So, there is likely to be a fair amount of time in which self-driving cars and regular cars share the roads.
Thus, how safe self-driving cars would themselves be is not the only important traffic safety issue raised by the possible future widespread introduction of fully autonomous vehicles out onto the roads. Another is how the conduct of drivers of traditional vehicles would be impacted by the presence of self-driving cars. A recent study indicates that being around self-driving cars might bring out or intensify aggressive conduct by some drivers.
This study used surveys and focus groups to look at how drivers from various European countries felt about the possibility of self-driving cars being on the roads. The study found that drivers with a more combative driving perspective were among the groups that tended to be more open to the introduction of self-driving vehicles. It also found that one of the things some drivers might be looking forward to when it comes to self-driving cars is the chance to “bully” such vehicles out on the roads.
How common do you think these sorts of views would be among drivers here in the U.S.? How big of a risk of aggressive driving by other drivers do you think self-driving cars would attract? What sorts of things do you think could be done to help discourage individuals from driving aggressively around self-driving vehicles once such vehicles come into general use?
Of course, American roads are hardly a stranger to aggressive driving. In today’s world of traditional cars, there are all kinds of aggressive conduct by drivers that can be seen out on the roads. Such conduct sometimes leads to crashes of an incredibly serious nature. Skilled attorneys can help victims of aggressive driving accidents with navigating legal issues that come up in relation to the crash and the injuries it caused them.
Source: GeekWire, “Study: Self-driving cars are good news for aggressive drivers because they’re easier to ‘bully’,” Monica Nickelsburg, Oct. 18, 2016