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Car accidents with self-driving cars the focus of Florida case

Self-driving cars have become a highly discussed topic recently. One of the main concerns people have is about safety, as well as where legal blame should be placed if car accidents are caused by computer-run vehicles. A fatal crash in Florida involving a car run by a semi-autonomous driving system is expected to set precedents for how similar wrongful death or accident injury cases will be seen by courts in the future. Reports state that the National Transportation Safety Board is expected to find the manufacturer of the car's self-driving technology partially responsible for the collision.

One decision-making factor was that the car allowed its driver to operate the vehicle for lengthy amounts of time without steering or even looking at the road. As a result, the car may have legal responsibility in the accident that resulted in the driver's death. The legal case that resulted from the Florida incident has received worldwide attention as many manufacturers develop their own self-driving cars and wonder how the law will see future car accidents involving these vehicles.

The manufacturer warned that drivers must look at the road when the vehicle is operating, and the driver in this case was given numerous audio and visual warnings before the car accident. However, the CEO of the company did claim that improvements were made following the accident, and a class-action lawsuit against the company suggested that the cars were defective. The court is expected to find that there is some guilt on the part of the company, as the car's auto-driving technology was being used when the vehicle slammed into the side of a truck and killed the driver.

Technology will continue to create many difficult legal questions. This Florida case and other legislative debates will be involved in deciding whether manufacturers of self-driving cars must take any legal responsibility for car accidents involving their technology. People who have questions about this issue or have been injured in a car accident where technology was a factor are advised to contact a lawyer for advice on how to proceed with these cases.

Source:, "Feds To Partially Blame Tesla's Autopilot In Fatal Crash: Report", Ryan Felton, Sept. 11, 2017

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