Study: Autonomous Vehicles Could Have Saved 1,300 Lives in CA Over Last Three Years

Research on traffic fatalities in CA highlights AVs’ power to save lives

Mar 26, 2024

On Tuesday, Chamber of Progress published a new report examining traffic fatalities in California and the power of autonomous vehicles (AVs) to reduce roadway deaths. 

As traffic fatalities rise year after year across the state, the report – authored by Kaitlyn Harger, Senior Economist for Chamber of Progress – looks at how many lives AVs would have saved had California allowed for their full deployment over the last three years. Examining the 2020 to 2022 period, the report finds that AV deployment could have prevented 1,300 roadway fatalities, nearly 5,000 serious injuries, and 46,000 minor injuries over the last three years.

Read the full report on AV safety in California.

“It’s no secret why AVs are safer than human drivers: they don’t drive drunk, they don’t speed, and they don’t drive distracted,” said Chamber of Progress CEO Adam Kovacevich. “AVs have driven millions of miles, and we now have a very good sense for how AVs stack up against human drivers: they’re demonstrably safer. If California lawmakers are interested in stopping rising traffic fatalities, then more AV deployment means more lives saved.”

The report examines three economic scenarios for AV deployment, including a conservative deployment scenario, a moderate scenario, and an optimistic scenario. Even in a conservative deployment scenario, with AVs making up just 1.3% of total cars on the road, driverless cars would save an estimated 100 lives and prevent nearly 500 serious injuries over the same period.


Chamber of Progress ( is a center-left tech industry policy coalition promoting technology’s progressive future.  We work to ensure that all Americans benefit from technological leaps, and that the tech industry operates responsibly and fairly.  

Our corporate partners do not have a vote on or veto over our positions. We do not speak for individual partner companies and remain true to our stated principles even when our partners disagree.