California Car Accidents Involving Auto-Pilot Technology

As auto-pilot technology advances and becomes more prevalent, drivers will begin to see more cars on the road using the technology. In fact, each year, more auto manufacturers are introducing models that have auto-pilot technology. While auto-pilot technology certainly has the potential to revolutionize the way we drive, it also presents certain obvious dangers to motorists and pedestrians.

Model S TeslaThe introduction of auto-pilot technology also is going to create legal issues in California personal injury cases that have not previously been handled by the courts. For example, who is liable when a motorist is involved in an accident and claims that he was using auto-pilot technology at the time? Lawmakers have attempted to enact some legislation to handle specific situations as they arise, but, as is often the case with developing technology, the courts will be tasked with handling many of these situations as they arise.

The governing principle of establishing liability in a California car accident case is whether or not a party was negligent. Thus, if a motorist engages a vehicle’s auto-pilot feature, falls asleep, and then is involved in an accident that could have otherwise been prevented, it seems likely that the motorist could be liable for the accident. However, suppose an attentive motorist engages auto-pilot and, despite his best efforts, is unable to disengage the feature or otherwise avoid the accident. The bottom line is that liability in California auto-pilot crashes will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Investigators Consider Whether Auto-Pilot Feature May Have Caused Accident

Earlier this month, a motorist rear-ended a fire truck that had stopped on Interstate 405 in response to an unrelated motorcycle accident. According to a local news report, the driver of the vehicle that rear-ended the fire truck told authorities that he had engaged the vehicle’s auto-pilot feature prior to the accident.

Thankfully, no one was seriously injured in the accident. However, the collision renewed interest in the discussion of liability in California driverless car accidents. A spokesperson for the car’s manufacturer told reporters that the auto-pilot feature should only be used by a “fully attentive driver.” The car’s manual suggests the same.

The accident was reminiscent of a 2016 fatal car accident in which a motorist who had engaged the auto-pilot feature crashed into a semi-truck. The subsequent investigation into the accident concluded that the auto-pilot feature was fully functional at the time and that the accident was caused by a number of factors, including the limitations on the auto-pilot system as well as driver error.

Have You Been Injured in a California Driverless Car Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a California car accident involving driverless car technology, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Auto manufacturers are still working out the kinks in this technology, and not all versions may be completely safe. The dedicated team of California car accident attorneys at Sharifi Firm has extensive experience handling car accident cases involving cutting-edge legal issues. Sharifi Firm also provides free consultations to accident victims to discuss their case and assist them in evaluating their options. Call 866-4-CAR-ACCIDENT to schedule your free consultation today.

More Blog Posts:

California Court Discusses Potentially Conflicting Witness Testimony, Southern California Injury Lawyer Blog, January 5, 2018

Hit-and-Run Accidents in Southern California, Southern California Injury Lawyer Blog, January 19, 2018

Contact Information