Phoenix Driverless Vehicle Accident Attorneys
Motor vehicle manufacturers and technology companies are aggressively researching and testing driverless technology. Companies like Volvo, Uber, General Motors, Tesla, and many startups already have self-driven cars and even tractor-trailers on roads in the United States and Europe, but these vehicles still have human drivers aboard as a safety measure. This is predicted to change in the next few years, making truly driverless motor vehicles a reality.
Proponents of these driver-free vehicles claim they will make the roads safer and reduce traffic congestion, but recent accidents involving autonomous vehicles have raised questions about their safety, and about who can be held responsible in such accidents. Liability law concerning driver-free vehicles is uncharted territory, and many issues must be sorted out by the courts.
If you’ve been involved in an accident or injured by an autonomous vehicle, you still have rights, but there may be complicated answers as to who can be held liable. To find out more, contact the experienced and knowledgeable driverless vehicle accident attorneys at Breyer Law Offices, P.C. Call (602) 267-1280 for a free consultation.
Uber claimed that, worldwide, self-driving cars "can help save millions of lives." This statement, along with safety claims from other driverless vehicle enthusiasts, usually stem from the estimate that 94% of all traffic accidents are the result of human error. But there are several problems with relying on statistics about the human cause of accidents, and not on a human driver’s ability to avoid accidents. This is because no one reports an "almost accident."
When considering the safety potential of self-driven vehicles, hypothetical questions like the following are often posed: A driverless car is driving down the street. A mother pushing a stroller steps out into its path. The vehicle is traveling too fast to stop in time. Does the computer driving the car… (a) hit the mother and child, or (b) swerve to avoid hitting the mother and child, and in doing so, crash into oncoming traffic, injuring or killing the car’s passengers? Will giving vehicles the right to make such split-second decisions really make the roads safer?
Another concern about traffic safety and driverless vehicles is the transition period between when autonomous cars and trucks are introduced and share the roads with human drivers, before all vehicles are driverless. Will self-driven vehicles understand the subtle language of driving, such as waving another driver through an intersection or flashing your vehicle’s high beams? And, since driverless cars will be programmed to follow traffic laws, will they be able to safely share roads with human drivers who often don’t follow traffic laws to a T?
For instance, a driverless commercial truck is approaching an intersection where left-hand turns are illegal. The computer reads this and assumes the human driver approaching from the opposite direction will abide by the no-left-turn law and not turn. But, human drivers are known to make errors or willfully violate such laws. Will the driverless truck have the wisdom and experience to not assume the human-driven vehicles will follow the law?
Whether driverless vehicles will really make the roads safer remains to be seen.
Probably one of the biggest changes self-driven vehicles will bring to society is when it comes to liability for traffic accidents. Without drivers, most traffic accident claims will be product liability claims, against either the manufacturer of a vehicle or the company that designed its self-driving system. This could result in larger settlements in many cases, because a large corporations have much deeper pockets than a human driver would.
But large corporations also have high-priced lawyers to defend them in court or represent them in litigation. If you were injured by a self-driving car, you’d need to have a skilled attorney representing you in a claim against an automaker or self-driving system designer.
Whether driverless vehicles will replace all human drivers is doubtful, since many people, such as motorcycle riders, enjoy riding. And even if there are no more human drivers, there will still be accidents, though possibly not as many. Either way, if you’ve been injured by a self-driven vehicle, you need to call the Phoenix car accident attorneys. Breyer Law Offices, P.C., has been successfully representing Arizona motor vehicle accident victims for over two decades. Let us put our experience to work on your claim by dialing (602) 267-1280 today.