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Self-driving cars are coming, and humans must be careful

The proliferation of crash avoidance systems in new cars (e.g. lane integrity warnings, proximity warnings and automatic braking) are quickly turning what used to be considered science fiction into reality.

Indeed, all of these are the precursors to self-driving cars, but the big questions involve how soon will such cars appear on streets and highways around St. Louis? According to some experts, these vehicles could be on the road as soon as 2020. Companies such as Google, General Motors and BMW are well in the process of developing autonomous vehicles, and high-end Tesla models have autopilot modes that actually allow a driver to let the car do the driving. 

Safety experts believe that fewer accidents will occur when self-driving cars grow in number on American roads. They believe that autonomous vehicles will be better equipped to see each other and take evasive actions quicker (and much sooner) than a human driver would. Also, self-driving cars will not be subject to the human deficiencies (and emotions) that lead to accidents. They ostensibly would not succumb to aggressive driving, make the same mistakes that distracted drivers or have the same judgment lapses that drunk drivers have.

It is estimated that 230,000 self-driving cars will be on the road by 2025 and more than 11 million by 2035.

Before self-driving cars become mainstream, drivers will still have to operate their vehicles with the same prudence and caution that a reasonable person would. If a driver fails to use reasonable care and causes an accident, he or she could be held liable.

If you have questions about your rights and options after a car accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can advise you. 

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