Despite the fact that driverless cars will have huge positive impacts on our society (improved safety, enhanced mobility, more reliable travel times), there are still some significant legal questions that need to be addressed. Many insurance companies and state government agencies are struggling with the liability question (e.g., who is responsible if a driverless car gets into an accident?), but there are so many more legal questions to grapple with. In fact, driverless cars are calling many of our legal precedents into question. I certainly don’t have the answers, but I am identifying more and more questions:
- Can you get a DUI with a driverless car? This article suggests that current laws in Florida would hold the “driver” of a driverless car responsible.
- Should seat belts continue to be required if the driverless cars are going to be so much safer?
- Can young children travel by themselves in a driverless vehicle?
- When are driverless cars allowed to ignore road signs and markings? To avoid an accident? To keep traffic flowing? To allow cyclists and pedestrians to pass?
Do you have any other thoughts?
While many are stating that injury lawyers that focus on automobile accidents should be looking for another job, I think it’s safe to say there will still be plenty of legal activity resulting from the introduction of driverless vehicles!