Motor vehicles are among the most dangerous products sold anywhere. Automobiles pose a larger risk of accidental death than any other product, except perhaps opioids. Annual autocrash deaths in the United States have not been below 30,000 since the 1940s, reaching a recent peak of roughly 40,000 in 2016. And the social cost of auto crashes goes beyond deaths. Auto-accident victims who survive often incur extraordinary medical expenses. Those crash victims whose injuries render them unable to work experience lost income. Auto accidents also cause nontrivial amounts of property damage—mostly to the automobiles themselves, but also to highways, bridges, or other elements of the transportation infrastructure. Finally, serious motor vehicle accidents often cause severe noneconomic injuries—that is, “pain and suffering.” According to some estimates, such noneconomic harms amount to more than twice the magnitude of the aggregate economic damages caused by auto accidents. All of this may be about to change. According to many auto-industry experts, the eventual transition to driverless vehicles will drastically lower the economic and noneconomic costs of auto accidents.
Logue, Kyle D. "Should Automakers Be Responsible for Accidents?" Regulation 42, no. 1 (2019): 20-5.