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Technological Advances of Self-Driving Cars Will Lead to Reformation of Automobile Accident Claims

Cars have progressed significantly since the foot powered cars of the Flintstones although the flying cars of the Jetsons still seem to be a thing of the future. Regardless, the automobile industry is making strides towards the future with the advances in self-driving car technology. Pittsburgh, among other cities, has had self-driving cars on its streets since 2017. While these cars are not available to the general public yet as they are still being tested, it is not an overstatement to say self-driving cars will be in popular demand in the coming years. Advancements in technology impact how the law operates and will lead to a reworking of the current law to accommodate such developments and the insurance industry.

Today, most automobile accidents are at the fault of the driver. According to PennDOT’s 2017 Pennsylvania Crash Facts and Statistics, 85-90% of accidents are due to driver errors that included contributing factors such as:

  • speed
  • intoxication
  • proceeding without clearance
  • improper turning
  • distracted driving
  • careless or illegal passing
  • tailgating
  • drowsy drivers

Accidents occurring due to driver error are categorized under automobile liability. With new technology developing self-driving cars, it is likely that eventually the amount of automobile liability claims will decrease simultaneously with a rise in defect and products’ liability claims. Rather than being at the fault of the driver, incidents will likely be at the fault of the car. Some manufacturers have included features that disable a driver’s ability to override the car’s autonomous system. The purpose of this is to eliminate crashes due to driver error which consequentially changes the laws around automobile accidents. When a crash occurs, these features would lead to the conclusion that the car malfunctioned causing the accident and leading to cases being brought under defect or products’ liability. To bring a defect or products’ liability claim it must be established that the product caused the injury, was defective, and was being used as intended. With the development of self-driving cars, products’ liability claims will take over the automobile liability industry.

Rudberg Law Offices, LLC has experienced personal injury and products’ liability attorney’s that are constantly learning the intricacies of the law as it adapts to new technologies. If you have been injured in any type of auto-related accident contact our office at 1.866.306.2667 or contacting our office online at [email protected]