Self-Driving Cars and Accidents


Self-driving cars are gaining more popularity with the advancement of technology and engineering. An interesting question to ask is, who is accountable if a self-driving car causes an accident? In other words, who is responsible if a self-driving car cashes?

This is an interesting topic to consider under negligence law and traffic law. When considering this topic of self-driving AI-driven cars that cause crashes, can we lay blame on the car’s manufacturers? This is a challenging topic as it is difficult to gauge liability. There are certain electronic control modules in electronic vehicles that are called “black boxes.” 

Self-driving cars are also called autonomous vehicles. Can the owner of the self-driving vehicle be held accountable? While the manufacturers and developers of the self-driving car cannot predict a crash or accident, they are responsible for taking action to avoid such mishaps.  

Increased focus must be placed on risk management. It is necessary to clearly delineate the standard for risk and come up with ways to enforce them. There have been many product liability lawsuits in the last few years.

Who Can be Held Accountable?

If the owner of the autonomous vehicle takes the vehicle off the autopilot mode and does the driving by themselves then they may be held accountable. Moreover, suppose the owner failed to take the vehicle for necessary maintenance checks, they can be liable for its poor performance if it is a result of a lack of maintenance. 

In Australia, there are laws that allow parties to bring claims against manufacturers or sellers who provide faulty or defective products. 

When it comes to autonomous vehicles crash, there can be a lot of conflict over who is liable. It is, therefore, necessary to obtain legal representation for all such matters. It is important to get legal advice from criminal lawyers who can help you with such matters.

If a self-driving vehicle is involved in a car crash, and it is found that the reason was because of a defect in the vehicle, the human driver cannot be blamed. Instead, the person who has suffered some loss because of the crash can bring a product liability claim against the manufacturer under negligence law or torts law.  They can also bring a claim forward by citing breach of provisions under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). 

Author bio: –
John Bui is the Principal Solicitor for JB Solicitors – a law firm based in Sydney, Australia. John is a Nationally Accredited family law Mediator and Arbitrator with over 10 years’ experience in family law and commercial litigation.