The advent of self-driving cars coupled with leading-edge technology brings an exciting era to transportation in America. Federal safety officials are developing and applying new regulations that foster this segment of the automotive industry while working to protect the public.
However, driverless cars have had a rocky start since their rollout. The sensors on an autonomous car failed to pick up on a pedestrian crossing the street in Arizona while on autopilot, striking and killing her. Making matters worse, the driver who was responsible for overriding the technology in the event of an emergency was distracted at the time of the crash.
Less than a week later, the operator of a self-driving Tesla vehicle in California was killed when the vehicle smashed into a road barrier. The victim had previously warned the dealership that the car had a tendency to veer while in autopilot mode.
To increase protection to the occupants of driverless cars without manual controls, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently issued a final ruling on safety standards that must be met to reduce the chance of self-driving car accidents.
Ruling on Self-Driving Cars
The NHTSA ruling cleans up prior regulations that were created years ago before the age of self-driving cars began. The purpose is to allow automated cars to operate without some of the safety standards that are typically required for vehicles that carry humans.
As a result of the rule, self-driving cars are given an exemption from certain crashworthiness standards, according to Transportation Today, a trade publication.
The ruling does not apply to drivers of autonomous cars equipped with traditional driver controls.
What Can this Mean for Car Accidents?
In 2019, nearly 37,000 people were killed in crashes on the nation’s highways, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
Self-driving vehicles have the potential to reduce this number as the nation trends toward driverless cars. Officials say it’s important to eliminate regulations that slow down innovations that have the potential to enhance safety.
“The auto industry is witnessing a technological revolution, and tens of billions of dollars have been invested in automation research and development that holds the potential one day to change fundamentally the way we drive and to reduce dramatically vehicle-related deaths and injuries,” said James Owens, deputy administrator of NHTSA.
This transformation could reduce reliance on human drivers who tend to be prone to accidents. In America today, more than 90 percent of serious car crashes can be traced to driver error.
While Land Parker Welch LLC applauds any effort to prevent car accidents, we approach the advent of driverless cars cautiously. Our lawyers will continue to monitor developments in the industry carefully and update you on how they could impact South Carolinians.
Contact a Manning Car Accident Lawyer If You’ve Been Injured
Serious car crashes occur all too often in Manning and in nearby communities. If a serious car accident has wrecked your life in South Carolina, give yourself the best chance of recovering compensation for your losses. Contact an experienced car accident lawyer at Land Parker Welch LLC for a free consultation.
With more than 120 years of combined experience, our trusted car accident lawyers can review the circumstances of your case and determine your legal options.
You’re not alone. If someone else hurt you, they should pay for it. Call or contact us today.