There is incredible pressure on car manufacturers to make safer cars for people on the road. So much so, that many car makers are seeking to eliminate the risks of distracted driving and driver errors by automating many safety features in the vehicles.
Common safety features that are being employed with greater frequency include semi-autonomous features such as:
- Adaptive cruise control. Not only does it maintain a certain speed when set, it also adjusts speeds automatically to account for congestion keeping you a safe distance from the car in front of you and automatically braking if it senses a collision.
- Lane keeping assistance. Keeps you in your lane by automatically steering you between the lines on roadways.
- Automatic emergency braking. If the car senses a collision is eminent and the driver doesn’t take action it will automatically begin applying brakes.
While these features are not automated driving, or even semi-automated driving, they do allow for somewhat “brain dead” driving where drivers often focus on other things rather than the road ahead.
Some will argue that these safety features and advanced technology are designed to prevent accidents. But what happens when they fail? Who is responsible for the injuries, deaths, and property damage they cause when these programs don’t operate as expected? Asheville Attorney Lakota Denton advises that it isn’t always obvious, at first glance, who is ultimately at fault.
The increased reliance on advanced technology in vehicles not only gives drivers excuses to pay less attention to the road, the systems themselves are prone to failure.
- First, they are software. Software is easy to corrupt. When this software is corrupted, poorly programmed, or filled with bugs; people can die.
- Second, certain road conditions render features like lane keep assistance and adaptive cruise control riskier than normal. Especially when roads are wet and/or icy.
- Finally, this technology offers a false sense of security to drivers, allowing them to become less attentive to the road at the risk of others.
The truth is that both the drivers and car makers may hold some responsibility for accidents depending on the specific details of the accident, which is why you need an experienced trial attorney on your side, to help you sort through the details to learn who is ultimately responsible.
As technology becomes more prevalent in vehicles on American roadways, so do the risks they represent and the need to hold drivers and car makers alike accountable for their actions.