Only a few years ago, driverless cars were a concept that many people doubted they would ever see on the road. However, driverless vehicles are already traveling the streets in a number of American cities, including Washington D.C. Unfortunately, just like any other car, driverless vehicles can end up in an accident injuring other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
Accidents Involving Driverless Vehicles
In the future, everyone may travel in self-driving cars. However, for the time being, they remain relatively rare. Driverless cars may allow people to get around without having to spend their time driving. Riders could catch up on work, watch a movie, text their friends, or even sleep while they commute to and from work. Driverless vehicles could also eliminate the problems of drinking and driving.
A number of companies are working on developing self-driving vehicles, including Google, Tesla, BMW and Uber. These companies are testing driverless vehicles in a number of cities, including a driverless bus in Washington D.C. Many of the companies expect to see their cars put into wider use by about the year 2020. Until then, most of these cars are still in the testing phase.
Driverless cars rely on a complex combination of sensors, cameras, and computers. Radar sensors monitor the vehicle's position and position of other vehicles. Cameras monitor traffic lights, road signs, pedestrians, and other vehicles. Other sensors detect lane markings and the edges of the road. A computer system uses the data to accelerate, brake, and steer the vehicle.
Once driverless vehicles are perfected, they may eliminate deadly car accidents. However, perfecting driverless vehicles may take decades. When driverless vehicles get into accidents, those crashes often make national news. There have been a number of documented car accidents involving driverless vehicles, including accidents resulting in death.
Driverless Vehicles Crashes
Google's self-driving cars and Tesla vehicles driving with the autopilot system have been involved in car crashes. For anyone involved in a driverless vehicle crash, they may be unsure who is to blame for the accident. It may be unclear whether the crash was caused by a driverless vehicle malfunction or by another driver. As more driverless vehicles become involved in accidents, these questions over who is responsible may become more common.
A Google self-driving car crashed into a bus in California. The bus was pulling out into traffic and the self-driving car's computer program thought the bus would stop to allow the car to pull out. However, when the bus did not continue as the vehicle predicted, the car crashed into the bus. Luckily for the bus driver and passengers, no one was injured. The vehicle was only traveling at 2 miles per hour when it hit the bus.
There have been a couple of fatal accidents involving Tesla's autopilot feature. According to Tesla, the autopilot feature is not supposed to be used without the driver keeping their eyes on the road and taking control of the vehicle when necessary. However, it appears that a number of Tesla drivers put too much reliance on the autopilot feature.
A driver in Florida was using the autopilot system in his Tesla when a truck moved in front of the car. The driver may have been watching a movie at the time instead of watching the road. The system may not have detected the moving truck in time and failed to apply the brakes. The Tesla crashed into the semi, killing the passenger.
A passenger, pedestrian, or other driver involved in an accident with a driverless vehicle can suffer serious, life-threatening injuries. This may involve head trauma, back or neck injuries, broken bones, burn injuries, lacerations, or internal injuries. This can lead to emergency medical treatment, hospital care, continuing medical care, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, vehicle damage, and pain and suffering. Whoever was responsible for causing the accident should have to pay for the damage they caused, even if the accident was caused by a driverless vehicle.
Driverless Vehicle Accident Attorney in Washington D.C.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident with a driverless car, you should talk to an experienced Washington D.C. personal injury attorney about getting compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. If you lost a loved one due to a driverless vehicle accident, you may be able to seek compensation for your family's loss. Your personal injury attorney will help guide you through the claims process and advise you of your options. You should not have to suffer pain or loss due to someone else's negligence. Do not hesitate to call Gilman & Bedigian today for a free consultation.