Google’s self-driving car made headlines this month when it made its way to Nevada for a test drive on public roadways. While the vehicle passed with flying colors, and even gained the support of Nevada’s Governor Brian Sandoval, the car technology is now under heat for a reported minor car accident that occurred Friday near the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California.
The incident was apparently leaked when car blogger Jalopnik published photos of the accident – a minor fender-bender according to reports at CBS News. The photos are described tongue-in-cheek as “Prius on Prius vehicular violence” – but even despite the apparent human, some reports even suggest the accident caused a five-car pile-up.
While skeptics of the technology are pointing fingers at Google, the internet giant insists it isn’t the vehicle that caused the accident, but rather human error.
“We regret that a Google driver recently caused a minor accident, and we’re grateful that no one was hurt…Safety is our top priority. One of our goals is to prevent fender-benders like this one, which occurred while a person was manually driving the car.”
The idea of course behind Google’s self-driving vehicle is to have the vehicle drive itself. The self-driving car is equipped with sensors that navigate the vehicle though mapped roads, including other sensors that stop the car when it needs to be stopped. But this time – ironically, while the vehicle’s sensors were turned off – it crashed into the vehicle ahead of it.
Despite the reportedly human-caused car accident, Google still stands behind their self-driving technology, insisting “the cars have traveled 160,000 miles autonomously without incident.”
Human error: a common car accident contributor
Until self-driving car technology is proven safe, and until every driver uses it, human error will continue to be a factor in why car accidents happen on our roadways. Consider the following safety tips today to avoid car accidents tomorrow.
#1 Always drive the speed limit
The speed limit is there for your safety and the safety of others. When you drive the speed limit, you take safer turns, stops, and are able to react within a reasonable amount of time.
#2 Use the 3 second rule
Always make sure you are driving a safe distance behind other vehicles – use the 3 second rule: locate a stationary object ahead of you and the driver in front of you. As the other vehicle passes the stationary object, count to three. At the last count, you should be passing the stationary object.
#3 Make changes to your driving in inclement weather
Obeying posted speed signs and using the 3 second rule are good ways to help prevent car accidents, but when inclement weather hits, you must adjust your driving habits. Drive slower, increase the distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you by at least 3 to 5 more seconds, and make full, slow stops to avoid hydroplaning.
The Law Offices of Michael Pines
If you have been injured in a San Diego car accident, call the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC at 1-858-551-2090 or use our online contact for to submit your case online. We are injury lawyers specializing in car accidents, and can help you seek fair financial recovery. The consultation is free of charge, and we do not charge any out-of-pocket fees while we work on your case.