Who Is Responsible for an Accident Involving a Self-Driving Car?

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In this day in age, you may see more self-driving cars on Toronto roads. This type of car is a sort of uncharted territory for insurance companies. With that, deciding who is at fault for a car accident is much more complicated when a self-driving car is involved. Continue reading to learn who is responsible for an accident involving a self-driving car and how an experienced Toronto car accident lawyer at Merricks Law Group can help you properly place blame.

What are self-driving cars?

Many car companies have implemented cruise control, emergency braking systems, backup cameras, blind spot detections, and even lane assistance into their vehicle so to help individuals drive safer. Though, self-driving cars take this driver-assistance technology to a whole other level.

With the automation of self-driving cars, engineers are attempting to make vehicles driver optional or to make drivers completely unnecessary. According to the Society of Automotive Engineers, there are different levels of driving automation. They are as follows:

  • Level 0: A car has no automation and the driver must control everything.
  • Level 1: A car offers minimal automation, which may include power brakes or power steering.
  • Level 2: A car offers partial automation, which may include cruise control, but the driver is still necessary.
  • Level 3: A car can operate without a driver’s control, but the driver is still necessary.
  • Level 4: A car can operate without a driver’s control, but the driver can still take control if they wish.
  • Level 5: A car is fully automated and can fully operate without a driver, which may not need a steering wheel or gas pedal.

Who is responsible for a self-driving car accident?

As reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car accidents are, more often than not, caused by human error. You may be under the assumption that self-driving cars eliminate the risk of human error. However, this risk is still ever present.

For example, a manufacturer may make a human error when constructing the build of a self-driving car. This may entail faulty parts going unnoticed before sending them out to car dealers. Or, a software developer may make a human error when constructing the technology of a self-driving car. This may entail glitches or malfunctions in technology that go unnoticed. Or, this may entail failing to offer consistent and necessary software updates.

However, a car accident involving a self-driving car is usually due to the negligence of a driver. This is because just because a driver turns on autopilot mode does not mean that they do not need to pay attention and practice caution. Rather, a driver must still be ready to take control of the vehicle at any time during their trip.

If you require assistance with assigning fault in your self-driving car accident, you must consult with a skilled Ontario personal injury lawyer today.

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