Self-driving Cars and Auto Accidents
When self-driving cars were introduced to the market, many drivers were intrigued by their potential benefits. Most promising, perhaps, was the chance to drastically reduce car accident risks. Unfortunately, as self-driving cars have begun to show up on the road, there is already evidence that they may not be as safe as assumed.
Since they have been in operation, there have been numerous auto accidents involving self-driving cars. Individuals in or around Daytona Beach, FL, and Palm Coast, FL, who have been injured in an auto accident with a self-driving car can count on the car accident lawyers at Chanfrau & Chanfrau to hold liable parties accountable for accident damages.
How Do Self-driving Cars Work?
Self-driving cars rely on many of the same advanced safety measures that have become standard in newer cars, such as sensors, cameras, and radar. However, whereas most cars utilize this technology to alert drivers of potential hazards so they can avoid an accident, self-driving cars take things a step further. Self-driving cars use cameras, sensors, and radar, along with computer software, to create automated driving systems. These systems are designed to fully control and operate a vehicle.
How Safe Are Self-driving Cars?
Since the idea of self-driving cars was introduced, there has been some contention about their safety. While manufacturers tout the ability of self-driving cars to operate without risk, many people question how effective a computer can be at driving a vehicle. A recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (or IIHS) suggests they may not be as effective at preventing accidents as many would hope.
To assess the ability of self-driving cars to prevent auto accidents, the IIHS analyzed the causes of more than 5,000 police reported crashes. They broke down the causes of these accidents into five categories of driver error: sensing and perceiving, predicting, planning and deciding, execution and performance, and incapacitation.
Based on the functions and abilities of self-driving cars, researchers believe that automated vehicles could only prevent accidents caused by perception errors or incapacitation. Of the over 5,000 crashes involved in the study, just about one-third were the result of perception and sensing errors or incapacitation. Based on the findings of this study, it can be assumed that roughly two-thirds of accidents would still occur, even if all cars were self-driving.
Who Is Liable for Auto Accidents Involving Self-driving Cars?
Since it is clear that self-driving cars are capable of being in crashes, it is important to consider accident liability. In most cases, self-driving vehicles still have a human driver behind the wheel. If a driver is in a self-driving car that causes an accident, they can expect to be held liable for accident damages. Even if they were not in control of the vehicle at the time, they are ultimately responsible for taking over vehicle operations as needed to prevent a collision.
The exception to driver liability is a mechanical malfunction. If there is evidence that a faulty part or a defective computer system caused an accident, the parts or vehicle manufacturer may be found totally or partially liable for the accident, depending on the details of the situation.
The car accident lawyers at Chanfrau & Chanfrau work alongside experts in the field to recreate accidents and prove accident liability so that their Daytona Beach clients can go after liable parties for accident damages.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, the lawyers at Chanfrau & Chanfrau can help you get the full extent of compensation you are due for damages. To discuss your losses with our legal team, contact us online at your earliest convenience or call our practice at (386) 258-7313.