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Will self-driving cars cause accidents?

Some people are nervous about the idea of a self-driving car. What if the computer makes a mistake and the car drives through a red light or into the side of a building? Do the people inside really want to put their lives in the hands of a machine? In short, people wonder if self-driving cars will be safe or if they'll cause accidents.

Google has been working on these cars for a long time now, so there is some hard data that can give people in Virginia an idea of how safe or dangerous these cars are. Even the workers at Google admit that not all accidents can be avoided.

The project has been going on for six years. In that time, the cars have driven a total of 1.8 million miles. All in all, they've only been involved in 12 accidents, all of which were minor.

The kicker, though, is that Google says even that very small number of accidents has to be chalked up to other drivers. The self-driving cars were not at fault in even a single one of those cases.

Other drivers made mistakes and hit the vehicles. For instance, one Google car was rear-ended while simply driving down the interstatee, though it was in manual mode at the time. Another car, driving all by itself, was hit when a driver didn't stop at a stop sign, instead rolling through it and hitting the side of the Google car.

For now, though, these safe self-driving cars are not available to the public, so you should know your rights to compensation when other drivers strike and injure you.

Source: Forbes, "Google Now Reporting Self-Driving Car Accidents: Hey, It's Not The Car's Fault," Brooke Crothers, accessed Aug. 14, 2015

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