Self-driving cars come with driver-assistance technology that is intended to promote safety on the roads. However, this is not to say that these types of cars are never involved in accidents. Read on to discover who is at fault for a self-driving car accident and how one of the seasoned Bergen County auto accident attorneys at McNerney & McAuliffe can help you in assigning blame.
What are the statistics on self-driving cars?
Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said that approximately 392 car accidents with self-driving cars were reported by the 12 different automakers that produce these cars. With that, Tesla made up 273 of these 392 crashes. The NHTSA also said that five individuals were killed in these self-driving car accidents, while six individuals were seriously injured.
However, this data is nothing compared to the decades worth of data collected on standard automobiles. It also does not account for the number of self-driving cars produced in comparison to standard automobiles, along with the number of miles driven for each. And sometimes, self-driving cars are involved in a crash when the driver-assistance technology is not in use. And so, it is difficult to gauge just how safe or dangerous the technology in self-driving cars can be.
Who is liable for a self-driving car accident?
One of the goals of the self-driving car is to eliminate human error, and therefore eliminate the chances of an accident. Though, human error can still occur in varying ways.
First of all, just like a standard automobile, a self-driving car can have a malfunctioning car part that can lead to an accident. With this, the car manufacturer should be held liable for any injuries and damages a driver suffers.
In addition, self-driving cars use a wide array of software and sensors for the self-driving function to work. So, a car technology designer may be at fault if they did not detect a glitch in the algorithm or if they did not offer a software update promptly.
And lastly, but certainly most commonly, the operators of self-driving cars are responsible for accidents. This is because, just because a driver does not have to physically operate the car at all times, does not mean that they do not play an important role. That is, they must still stay alert of their surroundings and the car’s navigation just in case something goes awry and they need to quickly regain control of the vehicle. This means that a driver still cannot text, eat, drink, or dose off while behind the wheel of a self-driving car.
If you require assistance with proving fault to an insurance company, then you must retain the services of one of the competent Bergen County personal injury attorneys today. We look forward to working alongside you.