Safety Advocates Concerned About Autonomous Test CarsJuly 19, 2017
According to companies that manufacture self-driving cars, this technology will have a major impact on reducing the number of car accident fatalities each year in the United States. While this is encouraging news, safety advocates want to be sure that the test cars are safe before allowing them on the roads. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety argue that Congress should limit the number of autonomous test vehicles on the roads and that automakers should be required to certify the safety of the vehicles before allowing them to be tested.
New Jersey Democratic representative, Frank Pallone stated that lawmakers should not rush bills out of committee without consulting with the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This position is currently vacant and awaiting a nomination from the Trump administration. It is imperative that we take the time necessary to get this right, making sure that safety is the top priority, according to Pallone.
Republican representative Robert Latta, Chairman of the Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection subcommittee, commented that there were over 40,000 fatalities and another two million injuries resulting from car accidents last year alone. Enacting the right policies that support self-driving technologies can significantly reduce these numbers.
Too Many, Too Soon?
While certain trade groups and automakers have called for the federal government to regulate with a light hand, safety and consumer advocates worry that too many of these self-driving vehicles are allowed on the roads without establishing a framework to address safety issues. The Vice President of Governmental Affairs for Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety stated that every automated vehicle should go through a comprehensive functional safety evaluation before they are allowed on the roads.
Congress is reviewing bills that would allow more test vehicles on the roads as this would help car companies prove that the vehicles are safe, and help gain more widespread acceptance. However, the federal measure would also prevent states from having too much control over regulations that oversee the safety and performance of automated vehicles.
It will most likely be years before fully autonomous cars are a common sight on roads and highways in the United States. However, according to industry leaders like the Chief Executive Office of the Manufacturers’ Alliance, whose members include Ford, GM, and Toyota Motor Corp., the United States is the innovation leader in the field of automated vehicles, and it is in our best interest to protect that advantage. Others, like a Law Professor at George Washington University, are concerned that the proposed package would focus more on technological advancement and less safety. He believes that there is a way to move forward, but these bills are not the answer.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims Injured in Self-Driving Car Crashes
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. If another driver was negligent, the vehicle was not properly tested, or failed to meet federal safety requirements, we will hold the responsible party liable for your injuries and seek the maximum financial compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
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