Is technology helping to make Alabama’s roads safer?

Despite the media attention over the recent Tesla car crash, federal auto safety regulators have publicly committed to autonomous driving. Specifically, the United States Department of Transportation recently released the first guidelines for self-driving cars.

Although the guidelines are not official regulations, they provide a policy direction for oversight of autonomous vehicles in four areas. First, federal authorities outline a 15-point safety standard for manufacturers of self-driving cars, such as Tesla, Google and Uber. Second, the guidelines invite states to develop uniform policies regarding these vehicles. Third, lawmakers reference existing driving regulations and how they might interface with driverless cars. Finally, the guidelines leave room for new regulations in the area of driving technology.

Our law firm provides representation in a broad range of personal injury issues. That experience has given us perspective on how frequently car accidents occur on Alabama’s roads and highways. Although we welcome technological innovations that might improve public safety, we also understand the importance of accountability when negligence or a defective product causes a crash.

Notably, expert testimony is used even in conventional car accident lawsuits to communicate complex engineering principles to the jury. With driverless technology, there may be an even greater need for experts. In addition, interpreting the medical, economic and emotional impact of a crash victim’s serious injuries and ability to work may also require experts in other fields to offer their opinions. Our law firm has relationships with many experts in the field. We can work with a team of professionals to present a strong theory of the case.

Source: The New York Times, “Self-Driving Cars Gain Powerful Ally: The Government,” Cecilia Kang, Sept. 19, 2016

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