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Self-Driving Car Accidents

Posted on in Car Accidents

Illinois accident attorney, Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois car crash lawyer,By 2020, 10 million self-driving cars will hit the roads. Many drivers see easy commutes and the ability to relax while driving in their futures. However, a study conducted by the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute finds that there have been more car accidents involving vehicles equipped with autopilot technology than there have been with conventional cars.

Because self-driving vehicles are relatively new, many drivers do not understand what legal options they have when they are in accidents that involve automated cars. While studies show that most accidents involving vehicles with autopilot technology are the fault of the vehicle’s driver or other drivers, there have been car accidents that resulted from defects in such cars.

Sometimes, it is unclear if the vehicular defects, negligence on the part of the driver, or negligence on the part of other drivers caused a car crash. While there may be a strong product liability case if - for example - the car’s accelerator malfunctioned, the case may not be as clear-cut if the accident was primarily caused by a manufacturer’s failure to warn consumers about its product’s features.

When Is There a Product Liability Case in a Car Accident?

Last year, a man was killed in a car accident when his car’s autopilot sensors did not detect the truck that turned in front of his automated vehicle. Some experts say that there could be a case made against Tesla - citing possible defects in software and the automaker’s failure to adequately warn consumers about the consequences of fully relying on their vehicles’ autopilot function.

A self-driving vehicle manufacturer may be sued because of issues in design, their failure to provide adequate safety information or defects in their software and product. However, the percentage of fault a driver is held accountable for depends on the amount of self-driving technology in his or her vehicle. Whether a vehicle is partially or fully autonomous is based on levels zero to five - zero referring to a vehicle that is completely controlled by a human operator, and five referring to a car that is fully self-driving.

How You Can Stay Safe when Driving an Automated Car

Regardless of whether or not automated car manufacturers are to blame for accidents involving their vehicles, drivers of autonomous vehicles can stay safe by operating their cars as they would conventional cars. Drivers of autonomous cars often rely completely on the car’s autopilot function. However, this can cause accidents, especially if the vehicle’s software is not completely reliable. Tesla’s own CEO stressed the importance of not being completely dependent on their vehicles’ self-driving technology.

Contact Our Lake County Personal Injury Attorneys

To understand and prove fault in a car accident that involved vehicles that are equipped with autopilot technology can be difficult. At Salvi & Maher, L.L.C., we strive to help our clients prove fault in accidents that involve all types of vehicles. If you were involved in a car accident, contact a committed and skilled Lake County car accident attorney at 847-662-3303.

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelkrauss/2017/04/07/what-should-tort-law-do-when-autonomous-vehicles-crash/#2c41eae5181c

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2015/10/31/study-self-driving-cars-accidents/74946614/

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jul/06/tesla-autopilot-crash-joshua-brown-family-potential-lawsuit

http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-tesla-liabilty-20160705-snap-story.html https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2017/04/03/tesla-mishap-raises-issues-self-driving-liability/99880620/
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