When Will Self-Driving Cars Be Fully Reliable?
If you follow the news, you may have heard that several auto manufacturers, such as General Motors, Uber, Tesla and Waymo are road testing self-driving vehicles. Some of these car makers claim that their driverless vehicles will be available for consumers to purchase as soon as 2020. Others have boldly claimed that driverless vehicles will largely replace traditional automobiles by 2030. Many of us wonder, “are these self-driving vehicles reliable?”
Driverless vehicle manufacturers claim that autonomous vehicles are safer because computers are less prone to make mistakes than humans. However, there is growing evidence that self-driving vehicles are actually less safe because they are unable to adapt to the tumultuous road conditions that humans navigate each day with relative ease.
For instance, autonomous vehicles are reported to go haywire when traveling through construction zones. Some of the self-driving cars react to parked cars as though they are moving. Many driverless vehicles cannot handle difficult maneuvers, such as turning left across oncoming traffic. Earlier this year, a driverless vehicle killed a bicyclist after it failed to predict the cyclist’s behavior. According to a New York Times Investigation, the inability of self-driving vehicles to react to unpredictable conditions remains a great safety threat.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a self-driving vehicle accident, you should contact a car accident lawyer. Autonomous vehicle collision cases are much more challenging than typical auto collision cases because you have to establish that the vehicle was defective. Many auto accident attorneys in Atlanta will tell you that they handle defective products cases when they actually only handle traditional car collision cases. The lawyers at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC have recovered millions of dollars for car accident victims, as well as victims that were injured by defective products. We are glad to help you, as well.
Self-Driving Cars May Be More Harmful Than We Expect
Statistically, driver error is responsible for causing 95% of car accidents. Driverless vehicle manufacturers emphasize that self-driving vehicles will be safer because they don’t drive drunk, or text while driving, for example. However, autonomous vehicles pose other safety risks that might have an equally detrimental impact on society.
For instance, some researchers believe that if driverless vehicles become widespread, they may significantly increase the number of vehicles on the road. Cities like Atlanta that already have so much traffic congestion and air pollution could be overwhelmed by that surge.
Others suspect that if the public perceives that driverless vehicles are safe, people will spend much more time traveling around in those vehicles than they already do in traditional vehicles. When people travel in vehicles, they sit in one place for the length of the ride. Sedentary behavior already is one of the leading factors that contribute to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other life-threatening conditions that kill far more people each year than car collisions. Therefore, the number of auto accidents might decrease if autonomous vehicles replace traditional vehicles, but the health of the average American could suffer more if autonomous vehicles overtake the roads.
It May Be More Difficult To Recover Fair Compensation If You’re Injured By A Self-Driving Car
In today’s world, if you’re injured in an auto accident, there’s typically only one blameworthy person – the careless driver of the vehicle that hit you. Sometimes, the at fault driver’s insurance carrier points the finger at you to try and justify its lowball settlement offer. However, by the time most cases go to trial, the insurance company admits liability and the jury usually just has to determine whether the collision caused your injuries, and, if it did, the fair amount of damages that you should be awarded for your losses.
If self-driving vehicles overtake the road, it will likely be far more difficult to recover the compensation that you deserve. Now, the at fault driver’s insurance carrier will always point the finger at the driverless car manufacturer, and the driverless car manufacturer’s insurance carrier will point the finger at the at fault driver. Each insurer carrier will attempt to justify its lowball settlement offer by claiming that the other carrier’s insured is at fault.
You might be tempted to settle with the at fault driver’s insurance carrier and just fight the product manufacturer. However, if your case goes to trial, and you’ve already settled with the at fault driver, the only party that you can recover damages from is the self-driving car manufacturer. If the jury decides that the collision was actually caused by the at fault driver, not the autonomous vehicle, you would recover nothing at trial after years of litigation.
If you decide to fight both the at fault driver’s insurance carrier and the driverless vehicle manufacturer all the way through trial, it could take years before you ever recover any compensation for your injuries. Most product liability cases cost upwards of $100,000 and take 2-3 years to resolve.
Car insurance as we know it now will likely cease to exist. The auto insurance carriers will drastically re-write their policies in response to driverless vehicles swarming the roads. The car insurers might not cover you if you are riding in a self-driving vehicle when you’re injured. Your auto insurance premiums could be much higher in the future. Traffic laws will likely also need to be re-written.
Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC Can Help
If you or someone you love has been injured by a self-driving vehicle, you are likely wondering how you can achieve justice for your losses. At Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC, If the driverless car manufacturer won’t acknowledge its wrong doing and pay you what you deserve, we will be glad to take them to court to hold them accountable.