The Increasingly Popular Autopilot Feature May Pose a Danger to Florida Drivers

The risk of a car accident is an unfortunate reality that all drivers must recognize each time that they get into a car. Statistics indicate that close to 2.5 million people suffer injuries or fatalities each year because of a car accident. Many car accidents result from user error, unsafe driving, and inclement weather. The rate of South Florida car accidents may begin to increase as the popularity of self-driving cars and autopilot features starts to gain mainstream traction.

Some say that self-driving cars may eliminate many of the common causes of car accidents, since these vehicles are unable to drive impaired or become distracted, and they can adjust their settings to inclement weather. However, this feature entails its own set of problems that may increase the rate of car accidents in Florida. Recently, the car manufacturing company Tesla has faced significant scrutiny over the company’s autopilot technology. While the company claims that its autopilot feature is safer than traditional driving, there have been several high-profile accidents involving the technology in recent months.

For example, according to a recent news report, a man collided with a disabled police vehicle while his Tesla was in autopilot mode. The man reported that he was tending to his dog in the back seat of the car when his vehicle went off course and slammed into the unoccupied police vehicle. Tesla states that the autopilot feature allows their cars to steer, accelerate, change lanes, and brake automatically. However, they also advise drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel and remain alert. To add to this confusion, Tesla’s CEO has posted videos on social media that depict drivers engaging the autopilot feature without their hands on the steering wheel. These facts, compounded with recent fatalities that occurred while this feature was engaged, suggest that autopilot technology is not as advanced as the company claims.

Autopilot features and self-driving cars will likely change the way in which the courts determine liability when these vehicles are involved in an accident. Car manufacturers may face product liability lawsuits, and drivers of self-driving cars may try to escape liability by alleging that they did not engage in any negligent behavior. However, the current state of the law permits individuals injured by these vehicles to file personal injury lawsuits against negligent drivers. Florida motorists should understand that this technology may not be completely safe and that the self-driving feature is no replacement for an attentive driver.

Have You Been Injured in a Car Accident?

If you or someone you know sustained injuries in a car accident, contact the dedicated injury attorneys at Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A. for immediate assistance. The attorneys at our firm are skilled at handling various types of personal injury claims and have successfully recovered substantial amounts of compensation on behalf of Florida victims. Compensation typically includes payments for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and property damage. Our attorneys keep up with the frequent changes in the law and technology that may affect our clients’ claims. Contact our office at 877-448-8585 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney at our law firm.

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