Personal Injury Articles for the Injured of NJ

How Will Self-Driving Cars Be Regulated

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Oct 23, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

For many years, the cutting edge of automotive safety technology has focused on reducing the possibility for human error to cause accidents, resulting in the development of numerous driver assistance features. According to many automotive technology companies, the logical end goal of these developments is a vehicle that can operate without the input of a human driver: a true self-driving car. Companies from various sectors, including tech companies like Google, auto manufacturers like Tesla, and even the ride-sharing company Uber, have been working on the development of autonomous vehicle technology. Of course, part of the development process requires testing in real-world conditions, which means putting these experimental "robot cars" on the road alongside normal traffic. This, in turn, demands that the vehicles adhere to safety regulations -- which is where things get tricky.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, driverless cars, self drive act, self-driving cars

SELF DRIVE Act faces Senate Vote to Approve Autonomous Vehicles' Higher Safety Standards

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Oct 11, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

For many years, the technologies being developed to improve automotive safety have tended toward giving more control to the vehicle itself in an effort to reduce accidents caused by human error. Electronic stability control systems, lane departure warnings, and collision avoidance technologies function automatically to avert crashes, but ultimately these driver assistance technologies still leave a human motorist in control of the vehicle. The logical end result of this technology trend, completely autonomous vehicles, have been slow in development, despite the numerous companies working on them. This is partly due to the regulatory limitations that have existed since the idea of self-driving cars became remotely realistic, as lawmakers were understandably cautious about putting the safety of public roads in the hands of a complicated and unproven technology.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, driverless cars, self drive act

Will Roads be Safer with Self-Driving Cars?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Aug 23, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

Since the invention of the automobile, the basic notion of motor vehicle transportation has involved a certain degree of danger; vulnerable human beings ride in large, heavy machines that move at high speeds. Over the years, technological innovations have presented us with ways of reducing that danger. Safety devices such as seat belts, air bags, and vehicle crumple zones help protect our bodies, and driver-assistance features like lane departure warnings, blind spot monitors, and front end collision alerts help drivers avoid accidents by monitoring the vehicle's surroundings and warning the driver of hazards. For the past several years, companies such as Tesla and Google have been working to develop vehicle technology that they hope will make roads even safer: self-driving cars.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, driverless cars

The Argument for Strict Liability for Driverless Cars

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Jun 07, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

Computer technology that allows motor vehicles to navigate roads and respond to changes in the environment without the input of a human driver is currently in development by many major companies, and may see widespread use on our nation's roadways within the next few decades. These driverless cars have the potential to significantly alter many aspects of everyday life, from vehicle ownership and insurance to the tort claims that arise from car accidents. There are numerous challenges that the current standards of product liability law would face from driverless cars, but there is a readily available solution. Imposing a standard of strict liability for lawsuits involving injuries caused by driverless cars would be the simplest, fairest, and most effective solution to the challenges presented by the technology.

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Topics: Product Liability Cases, driverless cars, strict liability

Driverless Cars: Who is Responsible when a Driverless Car Crash with Human-Operated Car?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, May 31, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

As technology companies and auto manufacturers bring us closer every day to a reality in which fleets of cars with self-driving computer systems travel our roads and highways, their work raises questions for society and the law to wrestle. One of the most important questions regarding driverless cars is the matter of liability – in a collision between a self-driving vehicle and a standard human-driven car, who is responsible for the accident?

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Topics: tort law, driverless cars

Will Driverless Car Legislation Come from the States or Federal Government?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Mar 08, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

As advances in technology bring driverless cars closer to an everyday reality on our roadways, the laws of the country will need to adapt to keep up with the changes that self-driving vehicles will effect. The question remains, however, as to where those legal changes will take place: within the court system, in state legislatures, or at the federal level? Although in many cases federal regulation can be a strong tool for consumer protection, it can have its drawbacks when dealing with emerging technologies that have a substantial corporate interest. The danger to consumers comes when federal regulations are considered to preempt, or override, stricter state laws and civil liability.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Car Accidents, driverless cars

Driverless Cars and Liability Alternatives

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Mar 06, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

As automation moves into more and more aspects of everyday life, it generally makes things safer and easier for the people who use the automated products. With respect to potentially dangerous activities like driving a car, automation removes the possibility of driver error from the equation, making the task much safer… until something goes wrong with the programming or the machinery. Auto accidents will not be eliminated with the introduction of driverless cars, so the question remains of how liability will be handled. The most obvious answer is an extension of the current system, with manufacturers carrying strict liability for any harm resulting from negligence or wrongdoing on their part. However, other systems of liability have been suggested (often by auto manufacturers and their advocates, to no one’s surprise) that would place less of a burden of liability on the manufacturers of driverless cars.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Car Accidents, driverless cars

Driverless Cars: Who Will Be Responsible For a Crash? The Driver? The Manufacturer?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Mar 03, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

Decades ago, one of the most iconic notions of the future was the idea of flying cars. Today, cars may not be about to take flight, but they may be about to take control of themselves as advances in automation and robotics bring us closer to the reality of self-driving cars on the nation’s roadways. A few early models of “driverless cars” already exist, with more in various stages of development. Many people believe that self-driving vehicles would remove the element of human error from driving and thus make the roads safer – but with technology programmed and constructed by equally fallible humans, it’s impossible to erase error from the equation entirely, which poses the question of what happens when an accident does occur? Who is liable when driverless cars are involved in automotive crashes?

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, NJ Personal Injury Case, injury compensation, driverless cars

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