Driverless cars - Who Would you Sue if There was an Accident?


There have been many driverless cars throughout history on the big screen but, how would you like to have your own?

Man Driving

This dream may not be far off for drivers in Britain. From next year, our roads could be transformed to reflect the changing times in which people drive, and so called 'cloud-driven' cars could share the road. So what are the legal implications of this?

Driverless Cars as Early as 2015

Churchill insurance conducted a survey in which more than half of British adults asked said they would not buy a driverless car. Approximately 60% were worried that a malfunction may occur while they were in the car followed by the next largest percentage being concerned about a lack of control. These are important concerns, especially when there can be no guarantee that there won't be a risk of such incidents.

The first "fleets" of fully automated cars could begin in January 2015 following a change in the Highway Code to make the use of them legal. All of this will be helped by a £10m cash boost from the government to make the vision a reality.

What does this new era of driving mean for motorists and the law? How will things change?

A spokesperson from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said, "Most accidents happen because of human error." This may resonate with you if you have recently been in a car accident caused by the fault of another road user. Driverless cars could ultimately be able to re-route based on information they receive from the "cloud", allowing an automated car access to huge amounts of information about the location of an accident or even prevent accidents from happening.

Who's Responsible for a Crash Now?

There are already existing technologies out there that can assist drivers until real hands-free driving is available to the masses – automated parking systems, adaptive cruise control to regulate your speed, and active city stop to break automatically avoiding collision are already on the market.

These may not have had a reactive change on the motor insurance company but, conventional insurance could be transformed to take into account driverless vehicles. There are still some questions the government and the law are yet to answer in regards to this new motoring revolution.

Who would be responsible in a crash? How would you determine if it was the fault of the driverless car? Would it be the car manufacturer for a collision or the person who owns the vehicle? These are all questions that are yet to be answered in regards to these special vehicles.

Despite this, we live in the here and now, where driverless cars are a thing very much in the future.

Right now, people drive, not technology, meaning you are always at risk of an accident on the road. We don't know what the future will hold for driverless cars and the law. Currently, we know that if you are involved in a car accident there is an opportunity for you to claim back any expenses you suffer from or any injuries you fall foul of.

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