Kline Legal Group P.L.C.

Driverless vehicles may not be ready for Michigan roads

Those who are eagerly awaiting the arrival of more autonomous vehicles may want to be patient for a while longer. Even though Congressional legislation may increase the number of driverless autos that get tested on open roads from 2,500 to 100,000 per year, concerned safety groups think that manufacturers and legislators need to slow down.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration can let automakers test vehicles that may not be legally compliant. As long as they can provide justification for not meeting certain safety rules by proving that their cars still pose a low amount of risk, the manufacturers can potentially receive one of the 2,500 annual test exemptions. The new law would see that number jump forty-fold. However, one George Washington University law professor said that the bill wouldn't be in the best interests of road safety.

Other advocates said that the current lack of any uniform safety evaluation standard is a major problem. Lawmakers seemed to agree that the federal government should bear the burden of automobile safety compliance instead of leaving the matter up to individual states. In 2016, there were 2 million U.S. traffic injuries and 40,000 deaths.

Car accidents occur for many different reasons. Although driverless technology may be convenient, it's unclear whether people might take advantage of it by engaging in more unsafe behaviors like texting and driving. Motorists, passengers and pedestrians who get victimized by driverless vehicles may also have a tough time determining the liable party. Attorneys with personal injury legal experience might be able to help clients deal with these complex cases.

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