LAS VEGAS, Nevada. According to the Atlantic, an estimated 94 percent of crashes occur due to human error. Many of these accidents are the result of distraction. In fact, researchers suggest that 4 million of the estimated 11 million accidents that occur in the United States could have been prevented had drivers refrained from texting and driving, using their cell phones, or engaging in other distracting behavior. Texting and driving, in particular, poses particular dangers. Some studies suggest that texting and driving can be just as hazardous as drinking and driving. Mood and emotion can also affect driving ability and behavior. It is no surprise that many experts agree that driverless cars could significantly reduce the number of accidents on the road. By taking away some agency from human drivers who are prone to error, and allowing a computer to perform the tasks, the kinds of accidents that occur due to human mistakes can be eliminated.
Yet, does this mean that personal injury lawyers in Las Vegas like the Truman Law Firm, P.C. will be a thing of the past? While driverless cars may be able to reduce the number of accidents on the road, driverless cars won’t eliminate the risk of computer error or other system malfunctions. In Florida, recently, a Tesla driver was involved in a deadly accident when using Tesla’s autopilot system. Though the system is not designed to be used without human oversight, the accident sheds some light on the kinds of computer errors that can occur when computers take the wheel. The Tesla vehicle reportedly drove under a truck when its system failed to distinguish between the glare of the sun and the glare of the truck. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found no major defect in Tesla’s system, but the Los Angeles Times notes that accidents involving driverless cars will probably be difficult to avoid in the future.
In many states, regulators have been cautious about permitting the testing of driverless cars on roads. But some states do permit testing. What happens if these vehicles are involved in accidents? Who will be to blame? Personal injury lawyers in Las Vegas, Nevada handle a range of claims. It may be that car accidents involving driverless vehicles may become product liability lawsuits against the companies that design the cars. Once driverless cars become widespread, it is likely that the companies that manufacture these vehicles will be subject to greater scrutiny regarding their testing and safety.
The Truman Law Firm, P.C. are personal injury lawyers in Las Vegas, Nevada who are closely watching as driverless technology develops. By overseeing the industry and watching the kinds of accidents that take place, lawyers can hold companies and individuals accountable for their actions. Companies that design these vehicles need to be aware that lives are in their hands when implementing their technology. With so many cars with recalls on the road, the hope is that car companies will put the public’s safety above their bottom line.