Self-driving cars are frequently touted as being a safer alternative to human drivers in Phoenix, Glendale, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Litchfield Park, Goodyear, Sun City and surrounding areas because computers have sensors and won’t make the mistakes that people do. Computers are not going to be distracted by their phones or feel road rage and tailgate when they think a driver is going too slow. With sensors to detect objects in front of the vehicle, self-driving cars could help to eliminate one of the most common crash types on the road: rear-end accidents.

While proponents of self-driving vehicles believe this technology is going to be the answer to improving road safety, an experienced rear-end accident lawyer knows there are many different reasons why accidents happen. Some of the data on self-driving vehicles suggests that these technologically-advanced cars may not provide the effective solution to rear-end collisions that their makers are promising.

Will Self-Driving Cars Stop Rear-End Crashes?

Early data shows that rear-end accidents are still happening with self-driving cars. There are currently 48 self-driving vehicles being tested throughout California. Of these vehicles, BBC News reports that four of the cars have been in crashes and that rear-end accidents are very common among self-driving cars.

Google has also been testing a total of 11 self-driving vehicles, including cars in California. Of the Google cars, seven of the vehicles have been rear-ended according to CNN Money.

This data raises serious doubts about whether self-driving cars are going to do anything at all to stop rear-end accidents from happening. Google, however, suggests that their vehicles are not to blame. The tech company indicates that when the rear-end collisions have happened involving self-driving cars, the accidents have involved other motorists who were behind the computer-equipped vehicles striking the rear-bumper of the self-driving car.

Google says that these types of accidents are not preventable because there is little that a driver in a front vehicle can do when the driver behind hits the rear bumper. This would mean that self-driving cars would be able to reduce the number of rear-end accidents as more people adopt them. While people will still make mistakes and get into rear-end crashes, the more self-driving cars there are, the less chance there is of this occurring.

However, one important issue is that the driver in front can sometimes play a bigger role than Google is acknowledging. The director of automotive testing at Consumer Reports says that front drivers can often prevent rear-end accidents when the motorist is checking the mirrors and is able to react to a vehicle behind that gets too close.

Although it is the rear-drivers responsibility not to cause a crash by failing to stop, all drivers are still encouraged to pay attention to what is going on around them and act assertively to head-off accidents. If self-driving cars are not able to use human judgment to react when a vehicle behind gets too close, the risk of rear-end crashes may be higher. This would mean that self-driving cars may not stop these types of accidents from happening.

Contact a Phoenix accident attorney at Israel & Gerity after your accident. Call 888-900-3667 or visit to schedule your free consultation. Serving Phoenix, Glendale, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Litchfield Park, Goodyear, Sun City and surrounding areas.