Car Accidents Can Happen – Even When You Aren’t Driving
One of the most exciting pieces of new technology today involves self-driving cars. For years, they have been shown in movies depicting the future, along with things like hover boards and time travel. Recently, however, they have become a reality. Companies like Ford and Toyota have been producing cars with automatic braking technology and Tesla has created a car that essentially drives for you. As exciting as these developments are, though, we have to remember that these are still cars. This means that they can still get into car accidents, even if the chances of that happening are lower.
On May 7, 2016, Joshua Brown was killed in an accident in Williston, Florida. He had been driving his Tesla Model S Sedan when a tractor trailer turned in front of the car, which didn’t sense the vehicle and therefore did not stop. The roof was torn off the car and Brown was pronounced dead at the scene. When the driver of the trailer was interviewed, he said the Tesla was going so fast that he didn’t even see him. Brown had been using Tesla’s autopilot feature when the crash occurred.
The unfortunate irony in this situation is that Brown had previously been a big promoter of Tesla and their technology, even posting a video of his car avoiding a crash this April. He thought the vehicles made the driving experience safer overall. To be fair, they do. This crash demonstrates a glitch in an otherwise good system that is being improved every day.
Tesla has created an autopilot system that, when combined with participation from the driver, will make driving safer. This is because it will minimize the driver’s participation, and about 94 percent of accidents are due to driver error. What the autopilot feature does is this: it can steer itself in a lane, change lanes, speed up and slow down in traffic, and brake. It can also parallel park, which may be the most exciting feature. The driver, however, is still responsible for the car. Before the autopilot mode turns on, Tesla requires drivers to acknowledge that they are still alert, keep both hands on the wheel, and be ready to take over for themselves. This ensures that the driver will pay attention to the road despite using autopilot.
The cause of this crash has yet to be determined, but it certainly brought self-driving cars into the spotlight. This can only help us in the future, as companies like Tesla work out the glitches in the system and prevent others from getting hurt.
Do You Need Professional Assistance?
While it still may seem unlikely that the average American will be cruising around in self driving cars anytime soon, the future is coming. Many companies have started to incorporate similar features in their own cars, making them more and more common. It is entirely possible that you or someone you know could be involved in a similar accident, so make sure you know what to do. Contact us at the office of Alan Goldfarb, P.A. in Miami to talk to our lawyers about what to do if you get into a car accident. We will discuss your options and figure out what your next steps should be.