Here we are in the era of self-driving cars, and we have one more fatality to add to the Tesla Model S incidents. This time, a pedestrian was killed by an autonomous Uber car this month out in Arizona in the middle of the night. Earlier this year, in January, a man on his motorcycle was badly injured by a GM that suddenly swerved into his lane. Google has had problems, as well. Still, the argument is being made that self-driving cars are safer than human drivers. Is that true?
Who is responsible when a tragedy like this occurs? The car that killed the woman was being “operated” by a real person, but it has been declared that the car was in self-drive mode. So is it the driver’s fault or the company’s? Maybe both–but definitely the company that is putting these cars on the road. There is no doubt that absolute responsibility belongs with the corporations who are using public roads as testing grounds for their dangerous experiments.
Furthermore, it still isn’t clear how these cars and their potential for wrecks are supposed to be regulated. These cars are already out among the public making unpredictable dangerous moves, and few laws are in place to regulate them. As current laws are, consumers are concerned about the fact that these vehicles are not as safe as developers like to claim. Consumer advocates have expressed that the recent Federal Automated Vehicles Policy and additional federal exemptions leave a lot to be desired as far as safety standards.
Currently, with less than half of the American states with any legislation for them, what are individuals supposed to do if something happens? One of the best things the affected party can do is contact a personal injury lawyer. Self-driving cars are a new issue, but holding car manufacturers responsible when their negligence injures or kills innocent people is not new to experienced attorneys. They will be the most vital individual to have in your corner as you deal with pain, suffering, medical bills, or worse. Make sure that you are careful if you encounter or use an autonomous car, especially since it doesn’t look like this innovation is cooling off anytime soon.