Self-Driving Car Accidents: Who’s At Fault? By Kelly Chanfrau, Esq. on May 12, 2021

A broken windshield As automotive technology advances, it’s only a matter of time before we’re sharing the road with fully autonomous cars. Although fully self-driving cars are still some time away, cars with some self-driving capabilities are already available and accidents have already occurred. At Chanfrau & Chanfrau, our car accident lawyers are standing by to help those who have been injured in an accident recover compensation for their injuries.

When it comes to self-driving car accidents in the Daytona Beach and Palm Coast, FL, area, accident victims may wonder who is liable if driver assist functions failed to prevent the collision. Today, we’ll consider this question and more as we take a closer look at self-driving car accidents.

What Is a Self-Driving Car?

In order to be a truly self-driving or autonomous car, a car must be able to safely drive itself from one location to another without human input. Due to limitations with current technology, cars are not quite there yet, but there are many vehicles on the market today with driver-assist technologies. These are often called “pilot assist systems.” These systems can do many basic things, like steer, park, and maintain even speeds.

The Driver in a Self-Driving Car

The currently available cars that are touted as “self-driving” are not truly autonomous. Drivers behind the wheel must stay engaged and be ready to override any piloting assist maneuvers their vehicles may make that could cause an accident.

In other words, there is still a driver in a “driverless” vehicle.

Who Is at Fault in a Self-Driving Car Accident?

Determining fault in a self-driving car accident depends on many factors. Although today’s self-driving cars are not truly self-driving, drivers can put too much confidence in their vehicle’s pilot assist system. This can lead to serious accidents and catastrophic injuries.

When determining fault in a self-driving car accident, the actions of all parties involved are considered. Sometimes this means more than one party is at fault. Fault in an accident with a partially autonomous vehicle may be attributed to:

  • The driver of the partially autonomous car: Because no cars on the market are truly autonomous, drivers must pay attention and stay engaged while behind the wheel. Fully relying on a pilot assist system to drive the car could be considered negligence in the event of an accident.
  • The driver of a non-self-driving car: Someone driving a normal car may be at fault in a crash. Some reasons include distracted driving, speeding, and failing to obey traffic signals.
  • The manufacturer or designer of the self-driving car: Sometimes product defects, programming flaws, or other issues with the design or manufacturing are the underlying cause for an accident. In such cases, the vehicle manufacturer or designer may be held liable.

Contact Chanfrau & Chanfrau for Help Seeking Damages

If you have been injured in an accident with a semi-autonomous car or you were injured as a result of your vehicle’s self-driving capabilities, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The car accident attorneys of Chanfrau & Chanfrau can review your case to help you seek damages from liable parties. Call our Daytona Beach law firm at (866) 794-0736 or schedule a consultation online to discuss your options.

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Chanfrau & Chanfrau

Chanfrau & Chanfrau has been serving Floridians in Daytona Beach and the surrounding areas since 1976. With three attorneys and two locations, we have the resources to help you after an accident or injury. We are proud of our many achievements, including inclusion in:

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For more information about our legal services, contact our firm online or call (386) 258-7313 today.

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