GA based The Brown Firm - Savannah recently updated their blog to include more information on the legal aspects of driverless cars and how their integration into society affects the conduct of personal injury cases. Given that one of the firm’s specialities resides in personal injury law, they wish to make their community more aware of both the advantages and disadvantages of a future with driverless cars. In particular, they hope their blog post will help more people learn who should be held responsible in the event of an accident that involves such vehicles.
In short, the firm asserts that the ‘entity’ controlling the vehicle at the time of the accident is the one who is liable for it. Should the accident take place while the car is in driverless mode (being operated by its software), the creators of said software, the manufacturers, are liable. On the other hand, if the driver was in control and the software was not in use at the time of the accident, the driver is liable, as they would be in a vehicle that had no driverless capabilities whatsoever.
The article goes on to elaborate, “The future is upon us. We don't have the hoverboard from Back To The Future or Flying Cars from The Jetsons, but we're getting close. Driverless cars, also known as automated cars, have been a reality since the first tests began in 2016. There are seven companies, including Google and Tesla, that are developing automated cars. While feelings towards automated cars range from absolute adoration to having no trust in them at all, they will soon be a part of our everyday reality.” Despite the technology’s relative youth, The Brown Firm cautions against assuming that it will never become a part of daily life. They state, “What seems outlandish right now will soon be widely adopted.”
Google, Tesla and their counterparts in the driverless car industry are pushing forward with development because they are absolutely convinced that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. At the very least, they seem to believe that the average consumer will come to look upon automated vehicles in this favorable manner, opening the way to a brand new and incredibly lucrative market. Indeed, they may be right.
For instance, it has been conclusively proven that the majority of car accidents occur due to human error. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), around 38,000 people lost their lives due to car crashes in 2019, with another 4.4 million being injured to the point they required medical attention. While these figures represented a 2% drop from the previous year, the NSC also attributes this in part to, “advanced driver assistance systems, such as automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning systems, backup cameras and adaptive headlights, all of which are proven to reduce the severity of crashes or prevent them altogether.”
Not all of these crashes would have been caused by human error, or even human error alone, but studies have shown that accidents may be greatly reduced in frequency and severity once driverless vehicles see widespread adoption. As The Brown Firm notes, “Distracted driving, falling asleep at the wheel, and drunk driving account for almost all car accidents. The goal of automated cars is to remove human error.” Automated vehicles will not suffer a degradation in driving quality due to being drunk, sleepy or otherwise distracted, for instance. These vehicles will also be able to make a sizable dent in rush hour traffic since they can coordinate with each other to decide on the best routes.To cap it off, driverless cars are already shown to be more efficient, making them much better for the environment as well.
However, the advent of this industry will most certainly mean that older ones will go extinct. Automated cars could put Uber drivers, taxi drivers and delivery drivers out of work, for instance, and The Brown Firm observes that driverless technology is already being used to power 18-wheeler trucks. Furthermore, despite how safe they are, accidents will still be possible due to the fact that not everyone will have a driverless vehicle during the first stages of the rollout. Human error on the part of other drivers on the road will continue to be a major factor for some time.
“There will still be accidents, and the aftermath of the accidents likely won't be pretty,” states the firm. “Instead of just driver vs. driver, it will be driver vs. driver vs. auto manufacturer. Bringing in a third party, a huge corporation nonetheless, to the situation will complicate things even further. That's why everyone will need a skilled personal injury attorney.”
Those interested are welcome to read the rest of the blog post on the firm’s website. Drivers, victims of car accidents and so on who require the counsel of an experienced Savannah car accident lawyer may reach out to Harry Brown Jr., DC, JD for further details.
Our Savannah personal injury attorneys aggressively negotiate and litigate on the behalf of our clients’, pursuing their rights to maximum compensation for their injuries.
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Savannah, GA 31405
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