Legal Blog

Self-Driving Cars and Safety

Attorney David I. Fuchs


Attorney David I. Fuchs


Jun. 9, 2014


Car Accident Law

Although you may not be able to purchase a self-driving car from your local car dealership yet—or even anytime soon—great advances are being made in smart car technology that could make our roads safer, car accident attorneys in Fort Lauderdale report. A recent article from Slate Magazine highlights the self-driving car and its strategic abilities to prevent injuries and avoid accidents. A vehicle with a quicker reaction time, automated response system, and a lack of human distraction—especially in our increasingly distracted world—may prove to be a better driver overall. 

Automated cars have been out on the roads in California—including the six-lane highways—for the past few years, so far without incident. But highway driving is fraught with perils that are usually unexpected, and that jump out in a split-second—stop signs, changing turn signals, other drivers, bikers, pedestrians, and animals, to name a few. The Google autonomous car, which is the most popular model of self-driving vehicle, works on algorithms designed to make decisions at any point on the road, including potential accident scenarios. Google drivers have been documented the car’s ability to safely navigate a driving environment, and have even gotten the car to master backing into and out of parking spaces. 

Google claims that the self-driving car is able to detect a wide variety of objects all at once, something humans cannot do. Another advantage the car has over a human is its lack of temper or emotion. While a human may get angry or frustrated at another driver or pedestrian, which could negatively affect their driving abilities and their judgment, the self-driving car will remain even-tempered no matter what happens on the road. This can prevent injuries sustained in car accidents caused by road rage, impatience, or aggressive driving and behavior on the road. 

However, an accident involving a self-driving car could be disastrous for future advances or production. While no injuries have been reported, a personal injury lawsuit involving a self-driving car and an injured party would be precedential, and may delve into manufacturer liability instead of personal liability territory, since the car has no driver. But as of right now, automated cars may be a good option to keep our streets safer and accident-free. 

“Even if self-driving cars never achieve perfection,” Slate Magazine’s article reads, “it’s looking increasingly likely that they’ll prove far safer than your average cellphone-checking, selfie-snapping, road-raging, falling-asleep-at-the-wheel human driver ever was.” And car accident lawyers in Florida tend to agree.  People are much more likely to be distracted than an automated car designed only to drive on the street. 

As our technology advances, our laws for drivers and pedestrians adapt to incorporate these changes and keep our people safe. At David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyers, P.A., a Florida law firm specializing in personal injury lawsuits, we represent clients who have been injured through the fault of another driver, or a manufacturer’s product. To discuss your options, contact David Fuchs today for a free, no-strings consultation today.