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Self-driving cars introduce moral dilemma

New York drivers may face a moral dilemma when driverless cars are finally available on the market although by then, regulation may have addressed the problem. On June 23, a study was published that asked 1,928 respondents about various hypothetical situations that might arise with self-driving cars. One was two people riding in a driverless car with obstacles on either side and pedestrians in the path ahead. The survey asked whether the car should hit a wall, injuring or killing the passengers, or save the passengers and hit the pedestrians instead.

The survey found that 76 percent of respondents believed that the moral choice was to take the choice that would save the largest number of people. However, among the same group of responders, 81 percent said that they would prefer to purchase a vehicle that would protect them and their family no matter what.

Researchers were surprised by both results and say that the dilemma must be dealt with before driverless cars are widespread. However, some experts say that regulations are needed now since there are already self-driving cars on the road during tests. It is predicted that whatever types of actions the driverless cars are programmed to take, they will be considerably safer than conventional automobiles.

However, as this study suggests, even with driverless vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and other people using the roads may not be entirely safe. An accident involving a motor vehicle can result in particularly serious injuries for a cyclist or pedestrian because they do not have the protection provided by the vehicle. Furthermore, the responsible driver's insurance company may only pay a minimal amount. If the driver was negligent, the injured victim might want to have the help of an attorney in seeking appropriate and adequate compensation through a personal injury lawsuit filed against the at-fault motorist.

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