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Are accidents an issue for autonomous vehicles?

On Behalf of | Aug 31, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

We have all seen the sci-fi movies and television shows were autonomous vehicles drive hundreds of miles an hour, and do it safely. This kind of thing may become reality at some point in the future, but as of now, the reality on the roads of Memphis, Tennessee, is just not what we see on TV.

Recent automated tech collision statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration during the 11 months preceding May 15, 2022, there were 400 collisions that involved automated or autonomous technology. Automated or autonomous technology is commonly called Autopilot, Full Self-Driving, Traffic Aware Cruise Control, etc., and manufacturers include Tesla, Honda, Ford, etc. Of those 400 collisions, the NHTSA stated that five people lost their lives as a result, along with six people who sustained serious injuries.

As technology proliferates, accidents expected to increase

Tesla, Honda and a myriad of other auto manufacturers and AV tech companies are expanding their AV and AV-like technology. As this this technology proliferates, industry experts and U.S. safety regulators expect AV collisions to continue to increase. At some point, the technology may eliminate accidents, but that eventuality is decades away.

Do AV collisions mean new laws are needed?

Probably not. At the end of the day, personal injury and car accident law, in its current form, can include collisions with full AVs and AV-like technology. While the cases may not be as straightforward as simply suing a negligent driver, suing based on negligence is still the basis for those lawsuits. Though, it may be the negligence in using an AV-like system inappropriate or in a way it was not intended, or a product defect lawsuit if an AV system did not function correctly.