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!

More Drivers Dying Than Ever Before

car drivers crash

We don’t care if we come across sounding like your mother, please be careful out there on the road! It’s been reported that more US drivers are dying in accidents than ever before. Fatalities jumped by over 5% last year, totaling to over 34,000 deaths. It’s the first time in seven years the number has increased. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the increase could be due to the face that Americans are also driving more than ever before. Modern vehicles have been offering better fuel efficiency, so drivers can cover greater distances for the same money.

Motorcycle fatalities account for almost 15% of all traffic deaths, with 5,000 riders dying last year alone. If you drive a motorcycle, please make sure to drive with caution and always wear the correct protective gear, including a helmet. No one cares how bad your helmet hair looks; the alternative will look a lot worse!

“A comprehensive strategy is needed to keep motorcyclists safe,” said Barbara Harsha, executive director of the GHSA. “Most crucial in this strategy are universal helmet laws, which 31 states currently lack.”

NHTSA is looking to change some safety laws, and is looking for public input on those changes. To check out the proposed changes, follow this link.