Who’s at Fault in Driverless Car Crashes?
The question of fault in driverless car crashes is a hot topic these days. In 2015, Volvo was the first company to make the pledge of full liability for accidents caused in self-driving technology mode. But what does that mean for companies that decline to bear the brunt of liability? While these liability laws may adapt to the new technology, the core laws will likely remain. Since accountability first goes to the driver, if you are in the driver’s seat of a driverless car and a collision occurs, the liability will initially be yours.
The Human Factor
The good news is, since human error is the main factor in most collisions, we can expect the rate of collision occurrences to diminish dramatically with the use of driverless cars. These vehicles use rational prediction to anticipate the actions of other vehicles, but can still get into accidents with other vehicles. For example, one of Google’s driverless cars caused a crash with a bus. Although there was a human in the driver’s seat, they allowed their vehicle to predict what actions the bus would take and did not seize control of the unmanned automobile. A question for all driverless car manufacturers is, “Would the same collision have occurred if two driverless vehicles had been in the same situation?”
Driverless Cars and Humanity
While the thought of being able to read or nap on long, solitary road-trips is a possibility in the future, we have a ways to go until the human element is completely unneeded behind the wheel. Statistically, these vehicles make our roads safer, but there is one final concern that must be addressed. Is there an ethical dilemma to relying on driverless vehicles? Utilizing technology for basic and defensive driving does not replace the human spirit and quick thinking that sometimes saves lives. Will driverless cars see all options, including those which may not seem “logical” to a machine, but are essential to humanity? They say that the programming is only as good as the programmer, so let’s hope that driverless car programmers have both extensive skills and a full heart.
Whether you’ve been in an accident with another motorist or a driverless vehicle, it is important to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in Sacramento as soon as possible. For more information, call (916) 743-1537.