Injury Law Blog

Federal regulator plans to investigate recent Tesla crash

We’ve all heard about the benefits of self-driving cars. You can eat a bagel, drink coffee and a read a book on your way to work in the morning. Best of all, you’ll have less of a chance of getting into a crash. But is it true? Are self-driving cars really going to be safer, and will they really serve to eliminate the thousands of unnecessary car accidents, injuries and deaths caused by drunk drivers, distracted drivers and unlawful drivers every year?

Automaker Tesla seems to think so, but their driverless car technology called “Autopilot” recently plowed into the back of a fire truck at 65 miles per hour. The accident happened in California, and the fire engine was tending to another vehicle collision, when the Tesla rear ended the truck after engaging the Autopilot self-driving technology.

Authorities have yet to confirm that the drive really had engaged the Autopilot feature. Furthermore, Tesla issued a warning statement after the crash, saying that the technology was only intended for use by fully attentive drivers. Miraculously, no one was injured in the crash, but the question of liability remains. Who’s going to pay for the extensive damage to this driver’s Tesla, which will likely be totaled as a result of its front end being completely crushed?

The issue of liability following a self-driving car collisions is clearly an interesting one. At this time, the court system in California may not be ready to clearly answer what party will be liable when a self-driving car is to blame for an accident. Over time, it’s likely that these questions will need to be resolved by the court system, lawyers and the plaintiffs and defendants who suffer damages in such collisions.

Source: The Street, “Tesla Refutes Report of Model 3 Delays: LIVE MARKETS BLOG,” Tony Owusu, Jan. 25, 2018