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Older drivers may benefit from autonomous car technology

Sophisticated safety systems that constantly monitor road conditions and are able to actually steer around obstructions or brake to avoid a crash are already available on many new cars and trucks, and the California-based technology giant Google hopes to introduce a fully autonomous vehicle by 2020. Many road safety experts believe that this kind of technology has the potential to greatly reduce or even eliminate traffic accidents, and self-driving cars could be a particularly attractive option to the country's growing number of retirees.

The reaction times of senior citizen drivers are generally slower than their more youthful counterparts. The latest accident avoidance and autonomous technology could make older divers less likely to crash by making decisions on their behalf in emergency situations. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that there will be about 54 million Americans in their 70s or older by 2030.

Media reports indicate that Google is leading the race to bring a self-driving car to the market, but Tesla currently offers the most advanced autonomous safety system. The company's Autopilot feature handles steering and braking in emergencies, but it is not considered to be fully autonomous. According to industry insiders, the proposed Google self-driving vehicle will have no steering wheel or pedals. However, most of them feel that the 2020 deadline laid down by the Mountain View company is highly optimistic.

Car accident lawsuits that feature older plaintiffs can be challenging for personal injury attorneys. Juries may think that poor response timing on the part of an older driver may have contributed to an accident. Attorneys may instead want to use the police investigation report, eyewitness testimony and other evidence to demonstrate fault on the part of another motorist.

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