Drivon Turner & Waters,PLC

Self-driving cars pose threat on Northern California roads

Over the last year, a series of accidents across the nation has focused considerable media attention on self-driving and semi-autonomous vehicles. While the technology offers considerable possibilities to both individual motorists and the transportation industries, regulators and legal experts still harbor some doubts about whether such vehicles are ready for public consumption. This is because safety continues to be a major concern.

A car accident that occurred late last year in the Bay Area highlights the potential dangers of this emerging technology. A self-driving GM Cruise was initiating a lane change in heavy traffic when it detected that one of the cars ahead of the space it was starting to move into was decelerating. The Cruise aborted the lane change and attempted to return to its lane.

At the same time, a motorcyclist had entered the space that the Cruise had created when it began to change lanes. When the Cruise returned to its initial lane, it struck the motorcycle, which caused the bike to wobble and fall to the ground. The motorcyclist filed suit against General Motors, claiming negligence and seeking damages for his reportedly-minor injuries.

Rather than proceeding to trial, the parties agreed to settle the suit for an amount that has yet to be disclosed. While it is likely that the technology that powers self-driving and semi-autonomous vehicles will only improve, in some cases, such technology simply has no place on the roads. Anyone who has been injured in an accident with a self-driving vehicle should seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney, as they may be entitled to compensation.

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