Car Accidents While a Vehicle Is on Autopilot By Jackson Reed on June 15, 2021

car accidentCar accidents are a major cause of injuries and death. Knowing the risks that car crashes pose, automobile manufacturers continually upgrade their vehicles’ safety features. Autopilot, or self-driving systems, is one new feature that is meant to decrease the likelihood of an accident. Unfortunately, as these systems make their way to the road, it is clear that crashes can still occur.

Victims of car accidents involving autopilot systems may be unsure of who to go after for accident damages. Car accident lawyers at Reed & Terry, L.L.P. can assist individuals in Sugar Land, TX, Katy, TX, Richmond, TX, and surrounding areas in determining accident liability and pursuing compensation for resulting losses.

What Does an Autopilot System Do?

Autopilot features are pretty new in passenger vehicles. In many areas these systems are still in the early testing phases, and in some states they are currently outlawed. However, where autopilot systems are in use, car accidents are already being reported. For many, this is confusing (and concerning). Many questions have been brought up about what a car’s autopilot feature actually does.

An autopilot system (also known as a self-driving system) uses a series of cameras, sensors and radar to read lane paint and detect the car’s surroundings. This information is processed by an onboard computer that is able to control how the car steers, brakes and accelerates accordingly. Despite these capabilities, most “self-driving” cars still require an attentive driver who is ready to take control of the vehicle if the need arises.

Causes of Autopilot Car Crashes

Car accidents can occur for a number of reasons - speeding, neglecting to follow posted traffic signals, driving under the influence, etc. In the case of autopilot car crashes there are generally two types of causing factors: driver error/neglect and autopilot defects.

The term autopilot is somewhat misleading, because it gives the impression that a self-driving vehicle is completely autonomous. In reality, a person should be in the driver’s seat paying attention to the road and in the position to take control, if necessary. When people allow their self-driving system to completely take over, and neglect their duties as a driver, an accident can occur.

Autopilot car accidents can also occur if the system is defective or malfunctions. Just like any other computer or automobile part, an autopilot system is susceptible to errors. If cameras or sensors are faulty, if the computer misreads information, or if the car fails to maneuver as needed, the risk of a car accident is high.

Accident Liability

Accident liability for an autopilot car crash may fall on a driver, an automobile/parts manufacturer, or both. Our lawyers work with investigators to re-create an accident and determine its primary cause, which allows us to assign accident liability. We then pursue liable parties to hold them accountable for the full extent of our client’s losses, which may include medical expenses, lost wages, diminished wage earning capacity, and pain and suffering.

Schedule a Case Review

If you have been injured in a car accident and are curious about the amount of financial compensation you may be due, the car accident lawyers at Reed & Terry, L.L.P. would be happy to provide a free case review. To get your review started, send us a message online, or call our law firm at (281) 201-0988.

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Reed & Terry, LLP

Reed & Terry, LLP

At Reed & Terry, LLP, our personal injury attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience providing high-quality representation to clients throughout Texas. Our firm is proudly affiliated with prestigious organizations, including:

  • American Association for Justice
  • American Bar Association
  • Houston Trial Lawyers Association
  • Texas Trial Lawyers Association

Schedule your free consultation now by contacting us online or calling (281) 491-5008

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