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Articles Posted in Car Accidents

A pastor at New Life Evangelistic Center was hit and killed Wednesday morning by a vehicle who fled the scene.  

The man was hit around 7 a.m. as he was crossing the street Crystal Springs Road near Hammond Boulevard. The driver did not stop to check on the man. 

Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the driver of the car that hit the man. 

As parents, we all want our kids to be kept safe from any dangers or harm. Car accidents are the leading cause of death among children over the age of 4, and nearly 5,000 kids die in motor vehicle crashes each year. The numbers are far too alarming, which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)  has outlined guidelines for children to follow when riding in the car. 

Car Seat Guidelines

Children should ride in the backseat of a car until the age of 13. Infants and toddlers should be placed in rear-facing car seats until they reach the  age of 2. If they have outgrown their rear-facing seat before the age of 2, then the AAP says they can be moved into a forward-facing car seat. Once a child is riding in a forward-facing car seat with a harness, they should remain this way for as long a possible – up to the highest weight and height allowed by the manufacturer of the car seat. After they have outgrown their forward-facing seat, they can then be placed in a booster seat, which is designed to help seat belts fit their smaller bodies correctly. Seat belts are designed for adults, so until a child is 4 feet, 9 inches, they should remain in the booster seat (roughly 8-12 years old). 

This information serves as an excellent reminder to parents on how to keep their kids safe when travelling to and from their destinations. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that every 32 seconds a child under the age of 13 was involved in a motor vehicle crash in 2018. The important takeaway here is that proper car seats, booster seats, and seat belts can protect our children in the event of an unfortunate car accident. 

safety-300x300While most parents believe their car seats and booster seats are installed correctly, the shocking reality is that 46% (that is almost half) are not. Child Passenger Safety Week is currently going on – running from September 20-26.  During this week there will be certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians available to the public in every state offering free help and education on properly using infant and toddler car seats, child booster seats, and seat belts. These techs are around to help educate everyone on choosing the right car seat/booster seat for a child, how to install them correctly, and how to properly use the seat every time your child goes for a ride. Another important safety tip they will provide is how to register the car or booster seat with the manufacturer so that you can be notified in the event of a safety recall.  

If you need helpful information on choosing the right car seat for your child’s needs, you can find it here

Child Passenger Safety Week 2020 ends with National Seat Check Saturday on September 26. Due to COVID-19, more techs will be available to assist with virtual checks this year for Child Passenger Safety Week. You can view where to find a virtual seat check here

The NHTSA is also stressing the importance of children dying from heat stroke during this year’s Child Passenger Safety Week. They are urging all parents and caregivers to remember their slogan – Park. Look. Lock. In recent years there have been more child deaths than ever from children being left or becoming trapped inside a hot vehicle. The majority of hot car deaths, 54%, happen when a parent or caregiver forgets they have a child in the backseat of their car. So far in 2020, there have been 20 child deaths reported involving vehicular heatstroke. 2019 was the second deadliest year for pediatric vehicular heatstroke, with 52 children killed because they were left behind in the backseat of a car or gained access to an unlocked car while no one was watching. 

Parents and caregivers are urged to develop good habits with children in their cars and always look around their car before leaving it as well as locking the doors once everyone is safely out. 

Bystanders are also urged to help prevent pediatric vehicular heat strokes. If you see a child alone in a car, you should do your part to save their life and call 911. The important thing to do in these situations is to get help immediately as the child’s life is in imminent danger. 

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Sky Drive Inc.,a Japanese company, has completed a successful public test drive of a flying car. 

The company executed the public demo on August 25 at the Toyota Test Field, which is the car company’s base camp and one of the largest in Japan. 

The flying car demo was the first of its kind in Japan. 

The car, named SD-03, was outfitted with a pilot behind the wheel who flew the car around the test field for four minutes as the public watched. 

SkyDrive has been around for two years. The company is thrilled with the success of the test drive and hopes to commercialize the aircraft. The goal is for flying cars to be accessible means of transportation to everyone. This is SkyDrive’s hope: to offer a safe, secure, and comfortable new lifestyle of operating a vehicle in the sky. 

The SD-03 is the smallest VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing vehicle) in the world. It is about the size of two cars and has a total of eight motors for safety precautions should an emergency with the vehicle happen. 

The company said more test drives are on the horizon and that the flying car will soon be a part of normal, everyday life. SkyDrive will keep going with its plans for flying cars and will work towards meeting the ever changing industry standards. 

With the success of the first test drive, the company says it is likely that the flying car will be tested outside of theToyota Test field by the end of 2020.

Reports indicate that the company is on a mission to safely launch the flying car by 2023. No price tag for this flying car has been announced just yet. 

Flying cars are here, which might seem futuristic for some, but the reality is more companies have developed these VTOLs and Miami even has a flying car port located at the Paramount Miami Worldcenter, which is a 60-story luxury condo tower. For now, the rooftop serves as an observation deck for its residents. Once flying cars are here, the rooftop will be equipped with a landing pad and the observation deck will be transformed into a sky lobby for those travelling by air. 

The rideshare company Uber is also getting into the flying car game. News 

reports have indicated that the company is set to be the first ride share company in the sky. They apparently have several manufacturers designing and testing VTOLs. There is no word yet on when the company thinks they will be operating in the sky. 

A Dutch company called PAL-V has flying vehicles available for pre order for $600,000. 

While flying cars are here and making significant headway, it is unlikely that these VTOLs will be available for the public to be transported in anytime soon. The reality is that lawmakers would have to develop regulations for car flights and work out lots of details, like licenses, training, insurance requirements, manufacturer regulations, air traffic plans, etc. 

Flying cars will definitely be a cool thing to see and maybe someday, sooner than later, these VTOLs will be available at a price that everyday consumers can afford. But in the meantime, regular car accidents happen everyday across the United States. Most of these accidents stem from driver negligence, such as distracted driving, driver fatigue, and operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Our Florida Auto Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are here to help you and your loved ones fight for just compensation for your injuries and losses after a serious car crash. 

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wrong-way-167535_1280-300x200The Florida Highway Patrol has confirmed that a man was killed in a wrong way collision early Saturday morning. 

The scene of the accident was along E. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway. 

The incident report documented that the 28-year-old Davenport man was driving a sedan heading west in the eastbound lanes of U.S. 192 near Crabgrass Road at approximately 3:20 a.m. His vehicle smashed into another car that was heading east, according to reports. 

The man identified as the wrong way driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The other motorist, a 21-year-old man, and his male passenger, 23, both suffered serious injuries. 

Another driver sharing the road at the same time of the crash said she had to swerve off the road to avoid hitting the two men who were climbing out of the car. 

A truck driver stopped to help pull the men from the wreckage. 

The report did mention that all three of the men were wearing seatbelts, but no further information on the crash is available. 

Wrong Way Driving Statistics 

The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration estimates that wrong way collisions result in 300 to 400 deaths annually across the U.S. This number only represents 1 percent of traffic fatalities every year, but the fact that most of these accidents result in head-on collisions at very fast speeds, they are usually more severe than other types of car crashes. 

According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) 2020 Crash Dashboard (which is considered preliminary data), Florida has already seen 176,317 motor vehicle crashes from 1/1/20-7/28/20. Of these collisions, 1,672 fatalities have been reported and another 109,328 people have suffered injuries. The month of January saw the highest number of traffic accidents with 32,548 total crashes and April had the lowest number of crashes with 16,416. 

Facts About Wrong Way Auto Accidents 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) did a study where they compiled all the data from wrong way driving crashes to identify trends in these deadly crashes. The following highlight their discoveries: 

  • Motorists over 70 years old account for a large portion of wrong way driving accidents. While this high number may seem unusual for this age group, their involvement may be attributed to poor vision and not seeing the wrong way signs posted on highways and roads. 
  • The majority of wrong way driving crashes involve a car that is entering an exit ramp on a highway. This can usually be attributed to signs not being clear, driver’s not being familiar with the area, or drivers being intoxicated. 
  • The NTSB found that 78% of the total number of wrong way crashes happen from 6 p.m. – 6 a.m. Drunk drivers, low visibility, and drivers who are fatigued all contribute to more wrong way driving crashes at night and early morning.
  • Keeping in tune with the above facts, the NTSB also found that most wrong way collisions happen on weekends. This could be because more people are out drinking and partying on the weekends as opposed to weekdays. 
  • The NTSB also determined that 7 out of 9 wrong way collisions take place in the lane closest to the median. 
  • Lastly, the NTSB concluded that more than half of all wrong way driving accidents are the fault of an intoxicated driver. Their report further shows that most drivers causing wrong way crashes have a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) at or above .15. When your BAC is .08 or higher, you are considered legally drunk. 

Wrong Way Driving Accident Claims

If you have survived a wrong way driving crash, then our Florida Auto Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are here to help you file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. Our goal is to make sure you receive the medical attention you need for your injuries and recover the full and fair compensation to which you are owed for your pain and suffering. 

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traffic-3098816_1920-300x225A rollover crash in Tamarac, Florida has left two teen girls dead, according to reports from Florida traffic homicide detectives. 

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office released a report stating the accident happened at Tamarac intersection Thursday morning. 

Reports indicate that a 14-year-old boy was driving the car with three other teen passengers. As the car entered the intersection, a pickup truck smashed into the passenger side of the vehicle, resulting in the car flipping over. Two teen girls, 13 and 16, were killed. The 14-year-old driver and a 16-year-old passenger both suffered injuries that required hospitalization. 

The 68-year-old truck driver suffered no harm, according to reports. 

No further information has been made available at this time, but it has been reported that no charges have been filed yet. 

Rollover accidents have the very real potential to be fatal, as this case highlights. This is due to the fact that rollover crashes tend to be pretty violent collisions. Any car has the ability to rollover, but certain vehicle types are more prone to rolling over. Narrow, tall vehicles like SUVs, trucks, and vans have higher centers of gravity compared to smaller passenger vehicles, which makes them more likely to rollover in the event of an accident. 

Speed also plays a pivotal role in rollover crashes, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), reported that nearly 40% of all rollover crashes involve cars travelling at excessive speeds. Another interesting fact, ¾ of fatal rollover crashes took place on roadways with a posted speed limit of 55 miles per hour or higher. 

The NHTSA also reports alcohol is a factor in half of all rollover collisions. It is important to highlight that driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is never a good idea as this can negatively impact your good sense of judgment, muscular coordination, and vision, which only increases your odds of losing control of your car. 

Driver behavior also plays a big role in preventing rollover crashes. Data from the NHTSA shows that more than 90% of vehicles involved in rollover collisions were engaged in routine driving behaviors, such as making a turn or travelling straight, when they crashed and flipped their vehicle. Data further shows that 85% of rollover deaths happen in single-vehicle collisions. These numbers suggest that distracted driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, inattentive drivers, and speeding all contribute to an increased likelihood of a vehicle rollover crash. 

If you are involved in a rollover crash, there are things you should do to protect yourself and any passengers. First and foremost, our South Florida Auto Accident Attorneys Whittel & Melton urge you to seek medical attention right away. Even if you feel fine, you need medical care to make sure that you do not have any physical injuries that may not be immediately apparent. You never want to delay medical treatment, as you may have a very serious injury that you have yet to discover and delaying care can only make the injury worse. You will also want to notify law enforcement right away to get to the scene. They will need to report their findings and keep the area safe. If possible, it is a good idea to take pictures and get the contact information for any witnesses. 

When it comes to rollover accidents, our South Florida Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are here to help victims recover for their injuries. We are equally as dedicated to helping family members who have been killed in auto accidents recover for their losses through a wrongful death lawsuit. Multiple parties can be responsible for a rollover accident, so it is very important for us to identify the at-fault parties early on in the investigation so that we can file the right claims. 

Rollover accidents can be complicated matters, but we are well equipped to handle these types of cases, as well as all auto accident claims. Victims of rollover accidents may be entitled to financial compensation for their suffering and we can help you evaluate your accident and determine what steps you can take to recover damages. 

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Florida has been ranked as one of the nation’s worst states for safety laws and enforcement, according to a new report from a watchdog group.

Florida is one of 12 states that fall “dangerously behind” laws recommended by Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety.

Among the problems the group found in Florida: Inadequate primary rear seat belt laws, which mean law enforcement cannot stop a vehicle simply because a seatbelt is unbuckled. The state does have a primary front seat belt law.

Nationwide, 47% of the 22,697 people killed in passenger vehicle riders were not wearing seat belts.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 1,099 lives were saved in Florida in 2017 because of seat belt use. Had others been buckled in, though, it said 181 more lives could have been saved.

MOTORCYCLE HELMETS AND CHILD SEATS

Florida also received low marks for not requiring motorcycle riders of all ages to wear helmets. It’s one of 31 states without that requirement. The state allows riders over 21 to go without a helmet as long as they have a certain amount of insurance coverage.

The state also scored low in child safety laws. Florida is one of 35 states that does not require infants and toddlers to sit in a rear-facing child restraint system at least through age 2.

The report also said Florida lacks a good law requiring children who have outgrown the height and weight limit of a forward-facing safety to sit in a booster seat until he or she is 8 years old and 57 inches tall. Thirty-four states have such laws.

State law does require children age 5 and under to be “secured properly in a crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device,” and children up to age 3 “must be in child restraint devices of a separate carrier or a vehicle manufacturer’s integrated child seat,” according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Children under 18 must wear seat belts.

Florida does somewhat better as children get older. In the decade between 2009 and 2018, the Advocates report found. There were 3,533 fatalities caused by motor vehicle crashes involving drivers aged 15 to 20. Nationally, the crash rate for teenage drivers is three times the rate of older people.

Florida did receive good ratings for some restrictions on young drivers, but falters in the report because of no nighttime restrictions for such drivers or restrictions on passengers.

The state gets mediocre marks for efforts to discourage distracted driving. While it bans text messaging while driving, the organization finds its efforts to restrict cell phone use as inadequate.

The report aims to promote the idea that as technology improves, so does the potential to prevent crashes that result in injuries and death.

Big challenges still remain for Florida. Catherine Chase, the organization’s president, cited “critical safety issues that must be addressed,” including standards to measure driver assistance technology and autonomous vehicles, further measures to combat drug-impaired driving, better safety for rear seat passengers and more protection for pedestrians and bicycle riders.

This study shows Florida’s “report card” for five different categories: occupant protection, child passenger safety, teen driving, impaired driving, and distracted driving. “Grades” of Green (Good); Yellow (Caution); and Red (Danger) provide an assessment of each state’s efforts. Florida received a “grade” of Red, which equates to “Danger.” It makes sense seeing that tens of thousands of people are killed on our nation’s roads every year. That breaks down to approximately 100 people killed every single day and nearly 7,500 more are injured in motor vehicle crashes. These traffic accidents carry a significant annual economic cost of $242 billion. This results in each person living in the U.S. essentially paying a “crash tax” of $784 every year. 

If you have been in any kind of car accident, then you know just how traumatic the experience can be. Knowing that living in Florida only stacks more odds against you gives you a greater reason to protect yourself. If you are involved in an auto accident, our Florida Auto Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are here to provide you with the right legal help.

If you have been in a car accident in Florida, we urge you to speak with one of our personal injury lawyers. We know how overwhelming life can be after a car accident, and we can help you take the next steps towards securing financial compensation for your damages.The last thing you need is the added stress of fighting with insurance companies while the medical bills keep piling in.

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Officials are searching for a driver who they believe fled the scene of a crash involving a stolen truck, a vehicle and a Lynx bus.

The Florida Highway Patrol Orlando said it is investigating a crash involving a Lynx bus.

Troopers said the accident happened Sunday afternoon near Texas Avenue and Honour Road when the driver of a Nissan pulled in front of a pickup truck and a bus along Texas Avenue.

A witness said a driver came toward her and other oncoming traffic to avoid the crash. The driver lost control and slammed into a wall, the witness said.

Officials said the crash was a hit-and-run, as the driver of the pickup truck fled the scene.

Two people from the Nissan and four other people were taken to the hospital for treatment. The severity of their injuries is not yet known.

FHP officials and deputies with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office are working to find the driver who fled the scene.

Many people use public transportation, such as Lynx buses as opposed to their own vehicles for numerous reasons like saving money on gas, convenience, and reduced emissions. Some transit riders simply prefer to relax and do other things rather than focus on driving their own car in traffic.

While it is true that you are more likely to be injured while driving your own vehicle than while riding on a bus or public transit, serious injuries and fatalities can and do happen when accidents occur involving buses, trains, light rail, and hired transport.

What Does Lynx Do after a Bus Accident?

You may be wondering what Lynx does after a bus accident occurs. The first thing Lynx representatives will do is have passengers complete forms. Any information you provide could be used against you during a lawsuit if it’s beneficial to Lynx. On that same note, anything that could help your case and points the blame on Lynx could go undiscovered.

After passengers complete these forms, Lynx will then try and get statements on the record from passengers involved in the bus accident. They will use professionals who have been trained to ask questions that could get you to answer in a way that is harmful to your potential case and beneficial to theirs. Because of this, our Florida Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton urge you to refrain from signing any forms or making any statements without an attorney present.

The last thing that Lynx will do after an accident happens is reach out with a settlement offer. Lynx representatives will reach out to the injured passengers or family members of a deceased person and likely give an offer way below what the case is actually worth. Before they disburse your settlement, they will ask you to sign a settlement agreement that waives your right to file suit against them. Again, our Florida Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton strongly recommend having a lawyer on your side who can advise you on how to proceed with your case for financial compensation. 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Lynx bus accident or a crash involving a taxi, Uber, or Lyft driver, our Florida Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you understand what steps to take next. We have the experience needed to help victims of transit accidents obtain the financial compensation they deserve for the injuries they have suffered. We help injury victims throughout the state of Florida who were harmed while aboard a hotel shuttle bus, theme park trolley, monorail, limousine, rental car, or any hired vehicle of any kind. 

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Actor and comedian Kevin Hart suffered major back injuries after a car crash in Malibu, California, early Sunday.

Hart was riding as a passenger in his 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, with the driver and another passenger in the vehicle, when it rolled into a ditch at about 12:45 a.m. local time, the California Highway Patrol confirmed. 

The driver crashed the muscle car after turning onto Mulholland Highway.

Walmart offers grocery pickup, but they are not stopping there. 

Walmart is now teaming up with Ford to explore autonomous car delivery in what it’s calling a pilot effort.

This is part of Walmart’s strategy to innovate when it comes to serving customers, according to a blog post written by Tom Ward, Walmart U.S. senior vice president, digital operations.

“Retail is changing at a rapid pace, and what’s ‘easy’ in 2018 might feel old-fashioned in 2028. In fact, Walmart is already offering grocery delivery in nearly 100 metro areas and is continuing to innovate to find new ways to serve customers — better, faster and easier,” wrote Ward.

Walmart, he noted, just conducted a small pilot with Waymo to determine how customers will want to use self-driving vehicles when it comes to grocery shopping. The Ford pilot is taking place in Florida’s Miami-Dade County. The chain currently partners with Postmates for Miami customer delivery. Postmates is already connected to the Ford digital platform, the blog noted.

“Walmart and Ford agree autonomous vehicles have an important role to play as we consider the future of delivery. Before self-driving cars can go mainstream, we must get a better sense of how people want to interact with them. Together, we will gather crucial data to learn the best way to bring items to customers,” wrote Ward.

As with all new technological advancements, there have been a number of safety concerns regarding driverless cars. Autonomous cars are passenger vehicles equipped with various sensors, cameras, and other technologies that allow them to detect, navigate and respond to a driving environment without constant human input. The impacts that self-driving cars will have on roadway safety have yet to be seen at this point. Many companies testing out these vehicles have learned there are many flaws that must be figured out before these cars can operate safely on roads and highways. Some of these companies that are developing and testing driverless cars, like Google’s Waymo, Tesla, Argo, Cruise, and Uber, have pumped the brakes on getting these vehicles on the roads by this year as they are learning that making autonomous vehicles is harder, slower and costlier than they initially thought.

Even though autonomous cars are programmed to respond to a variety of circumstances, they are not yet up to speed on eliciting the proper response from other motorists sharing the roads. IN 2009 during a Waymo test drive, the autonomous car stopped for a passing pedestrian, but was then rear-ended by a motorist following it. This erupted some concern that blending autonomous vehicles into a world of unpredictable drivers would present more challenges. 

Moreover, the sensors, radar systems and other technology in self-driving cars can be very effective at detecting the conditions surrounding a vehicle, but only when conditions are good. So if there is any inclement weather like rain, snow or sleet, the technology can be far less effective at adapting to the driving environment. On that same note, poor road conditions like faded paint dividing lanes of traffic or potholes, etc. can trip up the technology in autonomous vehicles, which could easily lead to miscalculations, errors and possibly even accidents.

There are still very few regulations in place regarding the technology, safety testing and implementation of self-driving cars. There is also little to no legal framework regarding liability for any accidents caused by autonomous vehicles. Federal and state officials are still working to get regulations in place before self-driving cars share the roadways with the rest of the driving public. Our Florida Auto Accident Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are following the evolution of driverless cars very closely. While we fully support any technology that can decrease the number of injuries and fatalities that result from car accidents, we want these test vehicles to be glitch free before they are mixed in with the rest of the driving population. As auto defect lawyers, we will be closely watching the evolution of driverless cars. While this technology might be inevitable, we strongly believe that these test vehicles should not be put out on the roadway until all glitches are ironed out. While it is said that nearly 94 percent of traffic crashes are caused by some form of human error, and that driverless cars will prevent car accidents, reduce injuries and save lives, it is safe to say at this point driverless cars are not there yet. Despite this groundbreaking technology, we don’t think it should come at the cost of driver safety and human lives.

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Just one year ago, Detroit and Silicon Valley had visions of putting thousands of self-driving taxis on the road by 2019, thus filling may of Americans minds with thoughts of soon to be driverless cars.

Now, these vehicles have yet to arrive and it will likely be another few years before they do. 

Several carmakers and technology companies have concluded that making autonomous vehicles is going to be harder, slower and costlier than they thought.

“We overestimated the arrival of autonomous vehicles,” Ford’s chief executive, Jim Hackett, said at the Detroit Economic Club in April.

In more recent news, Ford and Volkswagen said Friday that they were teaming up to tackle the self-driving challenge.

The two automakers plan to use autonomous-vehicle technology from a Pittsburgh start-up, Argo AI, in ride-sharing services in a few urban zones as early as 2021. But Argo’s chief executive, Bryan Salesky, said the industry’s bigger promise of creating driverless cars that could go anywhere was “way in the future.”

Why the delay? Human behavior.

Researchers at Argo say the cars they are testing in Pittsburgh and Miami have to navigate unexpected situations every day. Recently, one of the company’s cars encountered a bicyclist riding the wrong way down a busy street between other vehicles. Another Argo test car came across a street sweeper that suddenly turned a giant circle in an intersection, touching all four corners and crossing lanes of traffic that had the green light.

“You see all kinds of crazy things on the road, and it turns out they’re not all that infrequent, but you have to be able to handle all of them,” Salesky said. “With radar and high-resolution cameras and all the computing power we have, we can detect and identify the objects on a street. The hard part is anticipating what they’re going to do next.”

Salesky said Argo and many competitors had developed about 80 percent of the technology needed to put self-driving cars into routine use — the radar, cameras and other sensors that can identify objects far down roads and highways. But the remaining 20 percent, including developing software that can reliably anticipate what other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists are going to do, will be much more difficult, he said.

A year ago, many industry executives exuded much greater certainty. They thought that their engineers had solved the most vexing technical problems and promised that self-driving cars would be shuttling people around town in at least several cities by sometime this year.

Waymo, which is owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet, announced that it would buy up to 62,000 Chrysler minivans and 20,000 Jaguar electric cars for its ride service, which operates in the Phoenix suburbs. General Motors announced that it would also start a taxi service by the end of this year with vehicles, developed by its Cruise division, that have no steering wheels or pedals.

Honda and the Japanese tech giant SoftBank invested in Cruise. Amazon, which hopes to deliver goods to its shoppers by driverless vehicles, invested in Aurora, another start-up in this area.

Everyone was overly optimistic about self-driving cars. Companies believed all that had to be done was to throw in some sensors and artificial intelligence. 

The industry’s confidence was quickly dented when a self-driving car being tested by Uber hit and killed a woman walking a bicycle across a street last year in Tempe, Ariz. A safe driver was at the wheel of the vehicle, but was watching a TV show on her phone just before the crash, according to the Tempe Police Department.

Since that fatality, expectations were reeled back in. 

Elsewhere in the United States, three Tesla drivers have died in crashes that occurred while the company’s Autopilot driver-assistance system was engaged and both it and the drivers failed to detect and react to hazards.

Companies like Waymo and G.M. now say they still expect to roll out thousands of self-driving cars, but they are much more reluctant to say when that will happen.

Waymo operates a fleet of 600 test vehicles, which is the same number it had on the road a year ago. A portion of them are the first set of vehicles it will be buying through the agreements with Chrysler and Jaguar. The company said it expected to increase purchases as it expanded its ride service.

China, which has the world’s largest auto market and is investing heavily in electric vehicles, is trailing in development of self-driving cars, analysts say. The country allows automakers to test such cars on public roads in only a handful of cities. One leading Chinese company working on autonomous technology, Baidu, is doing much of its research at a lab in Silicon Valley.

Tesla and its chief executive, Elon Musk, are nearly alone in predicting widespread use of self-driving cars within the next year. In April, Musk said Tesla would have as many as a million autonomous “robo taxis” by the end of 2020.

Tesla believes its new self-driving system, based on a computer chip it designed, and the data it gathers from Tesla cars now on the road will enable the company to start offering fully autonomous driving next year.

But many experts are very skeptical that Tesla can pull that off.

Some companies argue that the way to get more self-driving vehicles on the road is by using them in controlled settings and situations. May Mobility operates autonomous shuttles in Detroit, Providence, R.I., and Columbus, Ohio. These are not minivans or full-size cars, but six-passenger golf carts. They travel short, defined routes at no more than 25 miles per hour. In many cases they provide public transportation where none is available.

The company has been running six shuttles between the Providence train station and Olneyville, a growing neighborhood a few miles away, since May. The trial is backed by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, which is paying May Mobility $800,000 for the first year of service. The company expects to take its service to Grand Rapids, Mich., this year, in a partnership led by the city. Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., May Mobility has raised $33 million from investors, including a $10 million round led by Toyota and BMW.

Also this year, a Boston start-up, Optimus Ride, plans to begin operating driverless shuttles at the Brooklyn Navy Yard that also travel at 25 m.p.h. or less.

At Whittel & Melton, our Florida Auto Accident Attorneys are obvious advocates for roadway safety because we see the devastating impact of serious accidents each and every day. The hope for autonomous vehicles was, and still is just possibly in the more distant future, to dramatically decrease in motor vehicle accidents. Should those hopes and visions be achieved, many innocent loves will be saved.

In recent years, car accident fatalities have been on the rise. According to data gathered by the National Safety Council, there were approximately 40,000 traffic accident fatalities in the United States in 2016. This is the highest number of deaths since 2007, when motor vehicle safety features were nowhere near as advanced as they are today.

The financial impact of personal injuries and wrongful deaths from auto accidents are huge. Motor vehicle accidents cost the U.S. well over $800 billion every year. Experts have concluded that 9 out 10 car accidents are caused by human error, so if and when autonomous vehicles are up to speed to take on all these human foibles, they just may indeed make the roadways safer.

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