Self-driving Car Accidents By Robert L. Froerer on September 17, 2021

car accidentThe automobile industry is continually evolving, and self-driving vehicles seem to be the latest trend. However, while some trends come and go, many industry experts insist that self-driving vehicles are here to stay. Self-driving cars offer several promising benefits, but recent self-driving car accidents suggest that there are still some risks for drivers to consider.

Car accident attorneys at Froerer & Miles help drivers in Ogden, UT, Layton, UT, and surrounding areas understand how self-driving cars work, the risks of these vehicles, common causes of self-driving car accidents, and how to determine who is liable for accident damages.

What Are Self-driving Cars?

Self-driving, or autonomous, cars are vehicles that can sense their surrounding environment and are able to operate with little or no human involvement. These vehicles monitor their environment using a complex computer system that includes sensors, cameras, and radar. Self-driving cars identify certain risks and alert drivers through a warning system, or take necessary evasive actions to prevent an accident.

The term “self-driving cars” is a little deceptive, because it implies that these vehicles do not require human drivers, but there are six different levels of self-driving, and currently all of the self-driving cars on roads in the United States require an attentive driver behind the wheel.

Are Self-driving Cars Safe?

Self-driving cars are designed to identify and/or respond to hazards and, therefore, minimize the risk of a car accident. However, as the number of self-driving cars on American roads has been increasing, there have been many reported autonomous car accidents that are cause for concern. 

A recent article in The National Law Review reports that car accident rates for self-driving cars are actually higher than those for human-driven cars. Although they report that self-driving car accidents do not cause as severe of injuries, they say that the accident rate for self-driving cars averages 9.1 per million miles driven in comparison to the human-driven car accident rate of 4.1 per million miles driven.

Causes of Self-driving Car Accidents

Car accidents take place for a number of different reasons, but accidents involving self-driving vehicles are often caused by one of two factors: driver inattention or vehicle malfunction.

  • Driver inattention - As stated, “self-driving” is not the most accurate term for the autonomous vehicles on the road. Although self-driving cars provide warnings and alerts, and are often capable of making evasive maneuvers, they are meant to be operated by an attentive driver who is ready to take control of the vehicle as necessary. Often when an accident occurs it is because the driver failed to pay attention, or in some cases, was not even sitting in the driver’s seat when the accident occurred.
  • Vehicle malfunction - Self-driving vehicles rely on a complex computer system that involves many different parts and programs. If any part of this system malfunctions, the results can be disastrous.

Liability for Self-driving Car Accidents

Just as with any other type of car crash, self-driving car accidents can result in a wide range of losses, including property damage, injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It is important that liable parties are held accountable for these losses. Depending on the details of the collision, responsibility may fall on the driver of the self-driving vehicle, the car or parts manufacturer, or both. Our Ogden car accident attorneys gather evidence to establish accident liability so that our clients can be justly compensated for their losses.

Contact Us

If you have been injured in a car accident involving a self-driving vehicle, the attorneys at Froerer & Miles can help you consider your legal options regarding financial compensation. To discuss the details of your crash, contact our law firm online, or call us at (801) 621-2690.

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