Self-driving cars are quickly becoming a reality – and soon, they may be the only vehicle on the road. Like any type of new technology, there are known issues associated with self-driving technology. These vehicles still have the potential to cause serious (if not deadly) accidents.
If an accident occurs, can you hold the manufacturer liable? Right now, manufacturers are pushing for lawsuit protection. If they win their pursuit, it could cause serious problems for accident victims of self-driving vehicles.
Self-Driving Cars Are Not Flawless
A self-driving vehicle may lead to a dangerous accident. In one case, a man lost his life when his self-driving Tesla collided with a semi-truck in Florida. The vehicle was on its autopilot mode, but manufacturers of the car claim that the cause wasn’t their vehicle, but rather was the white hue of the truck and the computer’s program that could not pick up on the color that caused the accident.
Automakers Want Regulations Favorable to Their Mission
Automakers of self-driving cars are working hard to bring the latest technology to the market. They are also looking for ways to make regulations more favorable for their benefit rather than consumers’ benefit. Through federal preemption, they can invalidate a law that conflicts with federal law. If successful, the automakers’ plans would ensure that victims of self-driving car accidents could never file suit against the manufacturer. Instead, the driver whose vehicle failed on autopilot would be at fault.
NHTSA Guidelines for Self-Driving Cars
With the reality of self-driving cars closer than ever, the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA) is working to create guidelines and regulations for these vehicles. While helpful, they have personally consulted with automakers about their regulations, instead of consumer safety companies.
Victims Have Nowhere to Turn
When a self-driving car leads to serious accidents and injuries, victims in the future may have no option for recourse. It may even prevent recalls from happening, because manufacturers are not liable for the critical errors of their self-driving cars.
Advancements in technology should always have some sort of government oversight; and, manufacturers should have consequences for negligence and defective products.
Victims Can Act Now
If you were seriously injured in a self-driving vehicle accident, you still have the option of holding manufacturers accountable for their negligence. If a manufacturer designs a defective computer system, or their software fails while driving, you can file a product liability lawsuit against that manufacturer.
To succeed with your claim, you need an attorney who understands the principles of product liability – especially against big manufacturers. Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC is here to work as your advocate. Contact us today for a free consultation by calling 502-791-9000 or requesting your consultation appointment through our online contact form.