Self-Driving Cars and Accidents: Who’s at Fault?

car accident

Everywhere we turn, we see the development of technologies which are bringing us closer and closer to a world of self-driving cars. Most automakers and experts agree that by 2020, we’ll see some form of fully autonomous cars on our roads – but there are a number of legal and insurance related questions to sort out before we’ll be able to purchase a car that drives itself.

The vast majority of accidents are caused by human error, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, so it’s widely acknowledged that self-driving cars would eliminate almost all traffic accidents. However, while we can eliminate human error and drastically reduce the number of accidents, we can’t eliminate accidents altogether.

When a driverless car can’t avoid a crash, the question of who, or what, is at fault, becomes a complex legal issue. Bloomberg Businessweek points out that the RAND study predicts an increased liability for auto manufacturers, and a decrease in personal liability. The result? A decline in insurance company revenue.

Though that kind of shift would certainly effect our economy, drivers are giddy at the prospect of saving serious money with their insurance companies. A carinsurance.com study found that 90 percent of drivers would consider switching to a self-driving car in exchange for a lower cost of car insurance.

Let us know in the comments: would you buy a self-driving car in exchange for lower insurance rates?

Here at James Ceranti Nissan, we can’t yet offer a self-driving car, but we can show you our lineup of safe, technology-packed cars. Stop by today!