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Self-Driving Cars, the end of Auto Accidents?


Google self driving car


There has been a lot of news recently about automated cars. The wizards at Google have been testing driver less cars for years now. Many current cars on the road already incorporate safety systems which at least echo elements of autonomous cars. Some of the more notable systems are blind-spot detection, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. Adaptive cruise control is interesting in that it will speed up and slow down based upon the surrounding traffic. I think the technology will be perfected to the point where driver less cars are pretty dependable and at least as safe as or safer than a “reasonable person.”

So what does this mean for Columbus car accident lawyers? Well a fully autonomous car will not get distracted by updating Facebook, tweeting, texting while driving. No drunk driving, drunk folks will get in their driver less cars and be driven home. There will not be elderly people jamming on the accelerator, where they meant to press the brakes. There won’t be truck drivers driving far beyond the hours they are meant to drive, falling asleep, and causing catastrophic truck accidents. So will you still need an experienced and competent Columbus personal injury attorney? Probably, but at that point instead of a negligence claim against the driver, the victim of an accident may be suing a manufacturer for a defective product.

Legality of Driver Less Cars

However I suspect that adoption of autonomous cars will not progress smoothly. There’s an interesting Stanford Law Review article about the legality of autonomous cars in the United State. Apparently both the Geneva Convention ( who knew this had anything to do with transportation, not me), and the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards do not expressly prohibit automated vehicles. The problem will be how each state regulates automated cars. New York, for instance, currently requires a driver to keep one hand on the wheel at all times, even if the car is automated. So maybe in Pennsylvania you are permitted to sit back in your car office while commuting to work, you drive into New York, then you have to place your hand on the wheel. How will this work, needless to say it will be interesting.

Driver Less Trucks

Now what I find fascinating are the implications of self-driving vehicles on the trucking industry. It is conceivable that self-driving trucks will eliminate the need for human truck drivers. I think this can be positive in one regard, many of the catastrophic truck accidents are the result of human error. I’m reminded of the truck driver who rear-ended the famous comedian Tracey Morgan. Apparently truck driver Kevin Roper had been awake for more than 24 hours at the time of the crash.

On the other hand, I think the elimination of human drivers will also be the elimination of a reasonably well paying career. Also I’d welcome driver less trucks if it eliminated or greatly reduced the need for a Columbus Ohio Truck accident attorney and lawyer. I suspect that the driver less cars and trucks will end one career and open fascinating, new career paths.

Regardless if you have been involved in a car or truck accident, please contact an experienced and competent Columbus motorcycle accident lawyer at Malek & Malek.