According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC,) car accidents are the leading cause of death in the United States. In order to lessen the frequency and severity of motor vehicle accidents, car manufacturers are using technological advancements to minimize and even prevent motor vehicle accidents from occurring. Although more people on the road will be safer, what about personal injury lawyers and the accident victims that they represent? Will these advancements minimize the need for these attorneys' services? Here is some information to determine whether or not this might happen:
An overview of the coming advancements
There are many automobile advancements that are currently being created to prevent accidents from occurring. Some advancements that are already being utilized, as well as some that are currently in the making are:
- Talking cars – some new vehicles come with a handy feature that speaks to the driver to warn them about a possible accident. These "smart cars" have the ability to communicate with other vehicles on the road and detect hazardous conditions before they are encountered.
- Fatigue warning systems - these can be installed in any vehicle and can wake a drowsy driver by sounding an alarm if the driver isn't fully alert.
- Park assist – consists of cameras to help drivers park safely without colliding with other vehicles.
- Self-driving vehicles – robot cars with the ability to take over controls are currently being created. These future vehicles can prevent accidents, especially drivers that are drunk, drowsy, or otherwise unable to safely drive.
Will personal injury lawyers really have fewer clients?
With these advancements, specifically the self-driving vehicles, the auto-drive feature is only an option. A survey was conducted to determine how many drivers would actually use this feature, and a large percentage answered against utilizing it. Those polled stated that it would be too scary to place total trust in a computerized vehicle to safely drive them from point A to point B.
Whether attorneys will receive fewer accident victim clients will depend on several factors. First of all, computers are not foolproof. Just like a laptop or tablet can sometimes malfunction, so could a fatigue warning system or any other possible safety technology. Secondly, it would depend on how many drivers will actually drive vehicles with these advancements. While many of these advancements will likely become a mandatory part of vehicles in the future, most aren't currently. This means that only some drivers will be using these safety technological features, leaving many others vulnerable to possible collisions.
These advancements will certainly lessen the amount of accidents that occur, but since there will always remain the possibility of error, collisions will continue to occur. Therefore, personal injury lawyers should not worry about lack of clients. In fact, if self-drive cars experience a high percentage of errors, then there could possibly be an increase in business for lawyers.