Fifty years ago, having a car that drives itself was about as imaginable as flying cars, living on the moon and pigs flying. Today, we use technology in most new models to help parallel park and back up. Car manufacturers are currently designing motor vehicles that can operate with minimal to no input from drivers. In fact, we are so close to seeing these vehicles, that three states have passed laws permitting self-driven vehicles.
Kansas may not be on the list, but California, Florida and Nevada are leading the break through, and many other states are sure to follow. Because self-driven cars haven’t been tested before, states are allotting time to enact appropriate regulations for vehicles that operate without driver input.
Of course, it’s not difficult to see many complications arising out of a self-driven car. Some of the most prevalent questions over legal liability issues include:
Malfunctions and defects – Just like any technology, computers malfunction, make errors and are susceptible to viruses. When this happens on your computer at home, you may get frustrated, yell at the computer or just shut it down. However, when it’s a motor vehicle that suddenly has a glitch, there’s more at risk than just making tempers flare. Serious car accidents could result from a technological malfunction. In the Courtroom, this may mean the at-fault party is the manufacturer of vehicle or computer components.
Removal of driver error – The majority of accidents are caused from a driver’s error. It is possible that drunk driving, distracted driving, speeding and reckless driving could all be eliminated or at least decreased by a self-driven motor vehicle.
Decrease in hit-and-run accidents – After being involved in a wreck and one driver chooses to flee the scene, it can be challenging for the victim to receive financial compensation. Although uninsured motorist coverage can take care of bills, it’s can be a more difficult process. However, disabling a vehicle after a collision would be possible with a self-driven car.
Vehicle maintenance – Not keeping a car maintained properly poses danger on the roads. This is only amplified if a poorly maintained car is self-driven. If tires or brake pads are worn, and the computer is in charge of maneuvering and stopping the vehicle, vehicle manufacturers and repair shops could find themselves the defendants in many more car accident lawsuits.
Detailed evidence – Because a self-driven motor vehicle would have a computer system, the ability to provide detailed data about a malfunction or maintenance issue that causes an accident would be much more available. This evidence could prove fault in a car accident lawsuit. Evidence like this is often found in Black Boxes in cars today.
Self-driven cars would most likely be similar to auto-pilot for a commercial airline. A backup system along with the ability for the driver to override the automatic controls is likely. Although much about this new technology and self-driven cars is largely speculation, we can only hope that the future holds fewer car accidents, fewer drivers who violate traffic safety laws and fewer drivers who engage in other forms of reckless driving.
If you have had a Kansas car wreck injury that was not your fault and need medical treatment, you need an experienced professional who can help you get back on the road to recovery. Call us today at 316-269-1414 or visit our contact page here. Our Kansas personal injury attorneys will provide you a free initial consultation and if we take your case you don’t pay a dime unless we recover money for you. Even then we only take a percentage of the total amount of your recovery.
If you have questions on what you should be looking for when you are making a decision to hire a Kansas personal injury lawyer, read our article located here.
Ray Hodge & Associates proudly represents victims and their families across the state of Kansas, including Wichita, Andover, Derby, Goddard, Haysville, Mulvane, Rose Hill, Newton, El Dorado and Hutchinson. Call today for a free consultation all over the state of Kansas. We have proudly served clients in Sedgwick, Butler, Sumner, Harvey, Kingman and Reno Counties.