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Who will be liable for personal injury in driverless car crashes?

Much has been said, and will probably be said in the future, about driverless cars and the rules regulating them. After several previous adjustments, California's latest proposed regulations for these vehicles met the approval of safety advocates. However, these advocates were not happy with changes that the California Department of Motor Vehicles made to proposed regulations about liability for personal injury and other damage caused by a driverless car accident.

The organization, Consumer Watchdog, is concerned about changes that might protect the automaker rather than the driver in crashes that follow defective software. Concerning the on-board computer that will be considered the driver of such a vehicle, the slightest malfunction of software or a defect in one of the system's parts could lead to a crash. The organization is concerned about the language of the regulations that might make the driver liable if there was even the slightest deviation from the instruction manual.

As an example, it was mentioned that a significant part of the safety of driverless cars depends on the functioning of sensors and cameras. If dirt on any of these prevent the computer from seeing danger and reacting appropriately, will the automakers be able to blame the driver for not cleaning the sensors? This was but one of many concerns that motorists have as plans to fill the roads with driverless cars proceed.

Changes to existing California regulations will be inevitable, and people may have legal concerns and questions about car accidents and personal injury liability. Answers are obtainable from an experienced personal injury attorney who has the latest information about changes to laws and regulations. A lawyer can assist victims of crashes that involved driverless cars in their pursuit of financial recovery of financial and other damages.

Source: carcomplaints.com, "California Driverless Car Regulations Changed Again," David A. Wood, Dec. 17, 2017

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