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Google reports minor accidents with driverless cars

Pennsylvania residents who are waiting for autonomous cars to become available may have heard that Google reported two minor accidents with its self-driving cars in April. No one was injured in either of them, and the cars were not to blame.

Both occurred in California where state laws require accidents that involve self-driving cars to be reported. In one, the self-driving Lexus was not moving, and another car hit it and caused slight damage to the side mirror. In the other, the autonomous car was stopped to yield for traffic, and it was bumped from behind by a car traveling at a very slow speed.

Google says that these types of accidents are likely to happy with their cars always on the road. Human error is responsible for more than 90 percent of car accidents according to some statistics, so it is still likely that autonomous vehicles will significantly increase road safety. Google's driverless car program began in 2009. The company plans to roll out autonomous minivans soon, and a report from April showed it had 34 prototypes and 23 Lexus vehicles in the program.

It is likely to be some time before autonomous vehicles are common on the roads, and as a result, car accidents resulting from human error will continue to happen. Some of them may be serious and cause severe injuries to others. When this occurs, people who are injured might assume that the at-fault motorist's insurance will cover all significant costs, but the insurer may make an inadequate settlement offer. When this happens, it may be advisable to meet with an attorney in order to determine how best to proceed.

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