Recently, Tesla broke tragic news that an incident involving one of their self-driving cars caused a fatality. The Autopilot system the driver was testing did not fully register the vehicle ahead. Supposedly, the sensors could not differentiate between a truck’s cargo trailer and a road sign against the bright, daytime sky. The driver of the Tesla vehicle, Joshua Brown was the only casualty.
This tragic event raises questions about accidents involving self-driving cars. Right now, the technology is still in its infancy. It still has a long way to go before it is readily available. However, there is one specific point that must be cleared up for drivers everywhere.
In Self-Driving Cars, the Driver is at Fault
The rule has always been that the driver is at fault. That is, as long as the self-driving car caused the incident. All drivers are still expected to take control of their vehicles at a moment’s notice. The hardware and software driving the autonomous vehicle are not liable for the damage. They will have already had to pass multiple inspections to be deemed safe for the road.
This is so that all car accidents continue to have a clear fault. Drivers choosing to operate self-driving cars assume the blame if that vehicle causes a wreck. This means that insurance and all other rules still apply regardless if the driver was in direct control at the time of the accident.
It will still be a while before self-driving cars flood the streets. But when they do, it is important to be prepared. Keep in mind that you are responsible for your own vehicle. And if you or a loved one is involved in a wreck with a self-driving car, make sure you contact a lawyer who will fight for your rights to proper compensation.