What Happens When Self-driving Cars Crash

Self Driving Car Liabilities

What Happens When Self-driving Cars Crash

As self-driving cars take to the roads across the United States, new questions are raised about who is to blame when the inevitable happens and the car is involved in an accident.Some argue that there are already laws to handle this, some say the vaccine industry could provide the solution, now some of the manufacturers are agreeing to shoulder responsibility if their cars crash while a computer is driving.


One thing we do know is that driving a car can be dangerous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s research concluded that driver error is the cause of 94% of crashes. Additionally, there are approximately 660,000 people behind the wheel who are checking their mobile devices rather than looking at the road.


Are self-driving cars the answer

Google’s fleet of 20+ self-driven cars has covered almost a million self-driven miles (averaging almost 10,000 miles a week).  Of all of the accidents the cars have been involved in, not once was the car the cause of the accident.

Whether you realize it or not, we already deal with this issue. Lane assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic braking systems already exist. All of these features have one thing in common; they take temporary control of the vehicle to help you avoid an accident or lessen the severity of one.


Automated systems aren’t infallible

None of these systems are full proof, and independent tests report that some of the automatic braking systems occasionally fail to stop in time. Despite these findings, data by the Highway Loss Data Institute claims that this technology reduces rear-end collisions. In recent testing of Volvo vehicles, findings show that self-driven Volvo’s reduce bodily injury liability by as much as 30 percent.

Self-driving cars are coming and these are issues that will need to be solved before they start hitting showroom floors. One thing is certain; AWS will be monitoring this issue and will be ready when the time comes. You may not have a self-driving car, but if you would like to reassess your vehicle coverage, contact AWS today and one of our agents would be glad to assist you.


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