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Automated Driving Presents New Risks for Drivers

Technology in cars is advancing quickly, and many see self-driving cars as the future of transportation. However, these cars present new risks, including privacy concerns and safety risks. Automated cars, also referred to as self-driving vehicles, or autonomous or driverless vehicles, can include a wide range of technologies. These include automated parallel parking assistance, automatic braking, lane-centering, and complete performance of all driving functions. Automated driving can offer many benefits to consumers. For one, it can be very convenient. They also offer many safety benefits. The NHTSA conducted a survey and discovered that over 90 percent of all car accident deaths are caused at least in part by driver inattention or other errors that may be preventable with automated driving. For example, human drivers may be distracted, speed, disobey traffic rules, or misjudge road conditions.

Yet, while they offer many benefits, they also present new legal issues. One issue that may arise in these automated cars is the question of who is the driver. That is, is it the person behind the wheel or the manufacturer of the technology? Laws today generally only consider the person behind the wheel to be in control of the vehicle, but that may change as automated cars become more prevalent, and the technology makes further advances. Also, there are concerns that cars could now be targeted for cyber attacks, which could cause liability to shift to the hacker or to the company responsible for the software.

Several states already allow automated cars, or at least the testing of automated cars on their roads. And many manufacturers are pushing for legal changes that support the use of automated cars.

Self-Driving Car Involved in Crash Found to Be Speeding

Recently, a Tesla car that was using automated driving technology was involved in a deadly wreck in Florida. According to one news source, a federal investigation found that the car had been speeding when it crashed into a tractor trailer. The U.S. National Safety Board found that the car had been traveling at 74 miles per hour in a 65-mph zone.

The car, which was a Model S Tesla, had been on “Autopilot.” The car used an automatic braking system and was designed to slow or stop before a crash. The manufacturer stated that the automated system did not recognize the tractor trailer because it turned in front of the car against a brightly lit sky, and the side of the truck was white, causing the system not to recognize it or apply the brakes. However, the National Safety Board and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which are both investigating the crash, declined to offer a reason for why the crash occurred or whether the autopilot system was defective.

Have You Been Involved in a Car Accident?

If you have been involved in an Illinois car accident, the skilled attorneys at Moll Law Group can advise you on how to proceed. Our Chicago personal injury attorneys serve victims and their families in Naperville, Schaumburg, Wheaton, and communities throughout Cook County. You may be able to recover economic and non-economic damages for your injuries. These damages may include medical bills, lost income, out-of-pocket expenses, property damage, and pain and suffering. To learn more, call us at 312-462-1700 or use our online form to set up a free initial consultation.

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