Truly representative of a new frontier in automotive technology, self-driving vehicles are making their experimental debut on roads across America. Designed to undertake many if not all of the tasks that drivers typically have had to perform, these vehicles are touted as being able to usher in a new era of safety and convenience. However, when drivers are taken out of the equation in the event of an accident, many questions concerning liability can arise. Therefore, it can be difficult for victims of accidents involving these types of vehicles to know which way to turn in their quest for accountability and compensation. Denver car accident attorney, Jeremy Rosenthal, is prepared to delve into the complex factual scenarios surrounding accidents in self-driving cars so that those who sustain harm may receive the financial recovery to which they are entitled.
Potential Issues with Self-Driving Cars
Though the promise of self-driving vehicles is immense, a number of concerns regarding their functionality still remain, calling into question how realistic a driverless world really is. Key areas of uncertainty include:
- weather-induced failure of self-driving vehicles to track and accurately follow road markings
- road obstacles and GPS connectivity issues in congested urban environments
- the absence of human intervention in emergency situations, such as the use of hand signals or headlights as a means to clarify claims of right of way
- inability to adjust course at high speeds, as necessary to merge safely onto freeways
- flaws in vehicles’ ability to distinguish pedestrians and other vehicles against a variety of landscape backgrounds
Liability on the Part of Vehicle Manufacturers
In terms of determining the party or parties responsible for a crash involving a self-driving vehicle, it is important to consider the role played by the manufacturers of these cars. By taking control away from humans, self-driving vehicles necessarily carry out functions which may ultimately give rise to liability. Therefore, when an accident is deemed to be the fault of the autonomous vehicle, the car maker itself must assume responsibility for defects or malfunctions in existence at the moment of impact. Of course, there may also be instances in which the owner of a self-driving vehicle may be held liable for an accident, which could include:
- failure to perform timely and appropriate maintenance on the car
- disengaging self-driving functions while the car is in motion
- failure to have the vehicle serviced following a recall notice
- modification of the self-driving capabilities of the vehicle
Assessing Blame in Accidents Involving Self-Driving Car Accidents
Though it may seem intuitively more likely that a crash involving a self-driving vehicle would be caused by flaws or failures in this groundbreaking new technology, statistics thus far suggest that in most reported incidents of this type, it is a human driver of another vehicle that has been to blame. This is frequently attributed to the fact that self-driving cars are programmed to follow the rules of the road, something which can paradoxically prove dangerous when surrounded by drivers determined to disregard those same regulations.
Navigating the Complex Landscape of Self-Driving Car Crashes
Accidents related to self-driving cars remain largely uncharted territory when it comes to personal injury claims and litigation. Questions of liability can be extraordinarily complicated, and victims should not attempt to go it alone when seeking fair compensation for the losses to which they have been subjected. Whether your self-driving vehicle malfunctioned and you believe the manufacturer was to blame or your conventional car was hit by an autonomous counterpart, you owe it to yourself and your family to aggressively seek justice. To learn how a Denver self-driving car accident attorney can zealously represent your interests and protect your rights, contact us at 303.825.2223.