Houston Texas Lawyer Blog

Roadway Safety and Self-Driving Vehicles

July 28, 2020 Safety Tips

According to a recent Facebook survey, Houstonians have pronounced opinions about what causes vehicle accidents and how roadway safety can be improved. The poll, conducted by the Terry Bryant Law Firm in April, also shows that Houston drivers are not ready to ride in self-driving vehicles.

When asked to analyze their own driving behaviors and list the rules they break at least twice a month, more than half of survey respondents (52%) confessed to speeding and 26% said they frequently don’t use a turn signal. About 16% admitted to texting while driving, the survey showed. Other shortcomings respondents admitted to include running a red light (6%), running a stop sign (5%), and not wearing a seat belt (4%). A little more than 2% acknowledged that they drive under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. Roughly 34% said they don’t commonly break driving rules.

When asked what measures they would favor to improve roadway safety, nearly 59% of all respondents called for updating the timing of traffic lights already in place – such as extending yellow lights by several seconds or creating intervals where all lights are red for a few moments at intersections. More than 45% called for a broader hands-free law to ban technology use while driving. Nearly 37% advocated for more features such as roundabouts, speed bumps, and road signage. About 25% were in favor of using red light cameras.

The car accident lawyers at the Terry Bryant Law Firm conduct occasional driver surveys among Houston residents to learn more about trends that may lead to vehicle crashes. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. To find out more about whether you could have a personal injury claim, call a skilled and experienced attorney now at 713-973-8888. The initial consultation is free.

Causes of Car Accidents

While 32% of respondents believed that texting while driving caused the most car accidents in Houston, respondents who were actually involved in vehicle accidents in the last year (13%) reported that the most common cause of these accidents was being “unaware of surroundings.” Respondents’ perceptions of the dangerousness of texting and driving – despite the alternative causes of their own accidents – could be due to heightened awareness created by successful ad campaigns. Drivers have gotten the message loud and clear that texting while driving leads to crashes.

Respondents also said they believed that not following posted road signs and rules (stop signs, merging, turning on red light, etc.) was a common cause of accidents (13%) as well as aggressive drivers (13%). Roughly 12% attributed crashes to driving under the influence, and 7% cited talking on the telephone. Only about 9% of the total said being “unaware of surroundings” caused accidents, and another 9% thought speeding caused collisions.

“No Thanks” to Riding in Self-Driving Vehicles

When asked whether they would ride as a passenger in a self-driving vehicle, survey respondents overwhelmingly responded “no.” More than 61% said they would not ride in a self-driving vehicle, compared to 38% who said they would.

This could be because of significant media scrutiny of deadly crashes involving self-driving vehicles, such as high-profile accidents by Tesla test vehicles and an accident in which an Uber self-driving car hit and killed a female pedestrian. Tesla’s self-driving Autopilot system is under scrutiny after 3 deadly crashes.

Houston motorists still feel reluctant and nervous when it comes to getting into a self-driving vehicle, and they do not appear to trust artificial intelligence when it comes to their own and their family’s safety on the road.

The Terry Bryant Law Firm conducted the Facebook poll in April 2020 with 114 Houston residents responding. Each survey participant answered 15 questions about driving in Houston. Participants ranged in age from 18 to 75+, with the largest age cohort being 35-44. About 36% of respondents were male and 63% were female. Complete survey results data can be seen here.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today

Founded in 1985, the well-established Terry Bryant Law Firm is led by attorney Terry Bryant, a former judge. With 35 years of legal experience in Houston, the iconic Houston accident and injury law firm handles a wide range of cases, including car accident injuries. Attorney Terry Bryant has been recognized by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (in Personal Injury Trial Law), Better Business Bureau, and several other legal and community organizations.

If you or a family member has been injured or killed in a vehicle collision, then you want an experienced car accident lawyer representing you. You may be entitled to financial compensation, especially if the accident was the result of someone else’s negligence. Car accidents result in mounting medical bills, lost wages, and months of rehabilitation. You don’t want to bear those costs alone. To find out more about how a car accident lawyer can fight aggressively on your behalf, contact us at 713-973-8888. The initial consultation is free.

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