Accident Attorney Questions When The Self-Driving Car Will Arrive

LONG BEACH, Calif., April 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Belal Hamideh, Long Beach Accident Attorney, analyzes the future of accident laws. People have talked about whether cars will ever fly. We may be a long ways away from that happening. However, we have been told that vehicles will be available to drive themselves by the end of the decade. Google has been at the forefront of the self-driving car. Others have followed including Audi and Toyota. Is this a concept or a reality?

The main cause of motor vehicle collisions is human error. This is why car collisions are called accidents. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), the death rate in motor vehicle collisions involving newer car models has declined from 48 to 28 deaths per million cars. This is because the newer model cars have upgraded safety features such as automatic braking. So how do we further reduce the death rate?

The next step is to make the car completely hands free. Google's prototype is summoned by your smartphone and drives you around like an automated taxi. It will resolve the problem of human error and likely lead to fewer collisions. So, what is the problem?

Manufacturers will not release these vehicles unless they are near perfect. If a collision occurs involving self-driving vehicles, then a products liability lawsuit will follow. Products liability cases arise when there is a design or manufacturing defect. The manufacturers are facing serious potential liability issues. Aside from the manufacturers, the insurance companies would have to figure out if these cars are even insurable and how to price the policies. 

Insurance is meant to insure human error. It is meant to pay for someone's bodily injury if they were injured because another driver was negligent. Self-driving cars would completely change the insurance game.

California is one of the most dangerous states to drive in because of the high population. This is especially true in areas such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, which are densely populated. Self-driving cars would reduce death rates in automobile collisions. According to the IIHS, we should expect all vehicles to be self-driving sometime after 2050. By then, death rates should heavily decline and the self-driving car issues will be resolved.