a car model, car accident lawyerThe “Let’s Talk Self-Driving” campaign, by Waymo, MADD, the National Safety Council and others, is designed to promote driverless car safety, mobility and other advantages to skeptical Americans. Through the campaign, it is hoped that concerns about safety, liability issues, and other challenges will be alleviated.

Driverless Car Safety

Testing of autonomous cars and buses is underway in several U.S cities, including Las Vegas. Although lawmakers are developing legislation to address the safety of driverless cars, many Americans remain skeptical of the technology and are reluctant to turn control over to an automated driving system.

Proponents tout the advantages of vehicle automation, including fewer alcohol and drug-impaired drivers on the road, fewer distracted drivers, a reduction in accidents involving drivers suffering a medical crisis, and increased mobility to seniors and physically impaired persons.

Liability for Damages

Determining responsibility for the accident is the key to recovering damages. Damages may be sought from a driver, manufacturer or technology developer responsible for the accident. When evaluating liability for damages, injuries, and death caused by driverless vehicles, a Las Vegas car accident lawyer will take into account a number of factors.

If the driverless vehicle is determined to be at fault in an accident, the Las Vegas car accident lawyer will want to know:

  • Was the automation being used properly by the those in the driverless car?
  • Did the automation technology fail due to owner error or operation?
  • Was the automation technology flawed in its design and ability to handle the traffic conditions?
  • Did manufacturer promises create unreasonable expectations in the driverless car owner regarding its safety and ability to operate in traffic?

Efforts by manufacturers and automobile safety groups to promote the advantages of driverless cars is likely to increase the number of autonomous vehicles on the roadways. Product liability laws hold manufacturers responsible for damages resulting from faulty products.

As driverless cars become more common, these laws must keep pace. Personal injury lawyers will be at the forefront in ensuring that developers and manufacturers are held accountable for damages caused by this new technology.