What Happens If I’m Hit by a Self-Driving Car?Self-driving cars once seemed like a feature of the distant future. Now, they are being tested and will likely soon hit the mass market. While the lifestyle implications of this shift are critical, there is a legal side to this issue as well. This situation will come into focus in the coming years, but for now, your best bet is talking to a St. Louis auto accident attorney and reading legal articles like this one. Below, we explain what happens if you’re hit by a self-driving car.
Growing Prevalence of Autonomous CarsThough there have been a few hiccups along the way, self-driving cars seem like an inevitability. Not only are regular cars being outfitted with semi-autonomous technology, but various companies are testing their fully autonomous vehicles in many cities. According to TheStreet.com, one firm estimates there will be 8 million autonomous driving cars on the road by 2025.
No Laws Governing Self-Driving Cars in Missouri5-10 years ago, most people thought that self-driving car companies would have to negotiate with local governments and get laws passed before putting their cars on the road. What ended up happening is that these companies decided to start testing their technology now and deal with the legality later. Now, states and cities are beginning to catch up and pass legislation. Currently, Missouri is in the middle of creating laws surrounding autonomous vehicles. Currently there are no laws governing self-driving cars in Missouri.
Dangers of Autonomous CarsMost experts believe that driverless cars are significantly safer than typical vehicles on the road. This is because machines do not fall into the same traps that humans do. They don’t drink, text, get aggressive, or become tired, so they bypass many of the most common causes of accidents. Still, they are not perfect. There have been instances of them getting into car accidents, and a recent case saw an autonomous vehicle strike a pedestrian in Arizona. The point is that although this technology is incredibly advanced, there are still safety concerns that you should know about.
Post-Crash Best PracticesIf you ever get into a crash with one of these vehicles, the steps you take afterward are roughly the same as with a typical car. Those steps are assessing your injuries, calling the police, and gathering evidence. Where is it slightly different is compiling information. Write down the license plate number of the other car and later find out information on the passengers.
Liability is Generally Still Fault-BasedJust because the other car is driverless doesn’t mean it is always at fault. Instead, responsibility will be assessed as it would in a typical crash. Even if you are partially at fault, you may be eligible for compensation.
If the autonomous vehicle is at fault, you will have to investigate exactly what the error was and who was responsible. That could end up being the manufacturer of the car, the technology company that built the driverless software, or another party.
What was once science fiction is now reality, and there are a variety of implications that come with it. One day soon, you might find yourself in a car accident with an autonomous vehicle. When you do, refer back to this article and call a The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. for assistance.