How Will Self-Driving Vehicles Affect Your Safety on the Road?
The January edition of the PKSD Newsletter, You Should Know, covers the future of self-driving cars and what these vehicles mean for you. While these vehicles could save thousands of lives each year, this technology raises many questions and presents a challenge for regulators and safety advocates.
The newsletter briefly discusses the history of self-driving technology, when fully self-driving vehicles are likely to hit the road, how this will affect traffic safety and fault for a crash involving fully autonomous vehicles.
History and Future of Self-Driving Cars
Self-driving technologies have been around since the 1950s when cruise control was introduced. Since then, a variety of new self-driving technologies have been added to cars, from automatic braking to self-parking.
People may not realize how close we are to having fully autonomous vehicles on the road. Companies like Google and Uber are testing these vehicles right now and representatives of these companies predict self-driving cars will be on the road in the early part of the next decade.
How Will These Vehicles Affect Traffic Safety?
More than 37,000 people were killed in car accidents in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Since an estimated 94 percent of these accidents are a result of a human error, it is estimated that self-driving cars could save approximately 30,000 lives each year.
However, this technology will not completely eliminate all traffic accidents and the resulting personal injuries and deaths, at least not at first. This is because it will take another 15 to 20 years after self-driving cars hit the market for all vehicles on the road to be fully autonomous. Self-driving technology is also not foolproof, so these vehicles can still get into accidents.
Fault for a Self-Driving Car Accident
While fully autonomous vehicles have not hit the road yet, there are some vehicles with a high degree of autonomy on roadways right now. When these vehicles are involved in accidents, the driver still tends to be blamed. Manufacturers argue drivers need to be ready to take control of the car when the self-driving system gives control back to the driver.
However, with fully autonomous vehicles, it will probably make less sense to hold the driver responsible. Our attorneys think that these cases will likely be governed by a theory of strict liability, which holds manufacturers fully responsible for accidents that occur when the car is being driven by the self-driving system.
Contact a Trusted Personal Injury Attorney from Our Firm
If you were injured in an accident with a self-driving car, contact our attorneys today for a free legal consultation. We may be able to pursue compensation for medical expenses and other damages you suffered.
Your consultation with our attorneys is free and also comes with no obligation. This means you do not have to pursue a case if you do not want to. If you have a case and decide to move forward, we will not charge you legal fees unless you receive compensation.