Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers: Fatal Tesla AccidentNovember 9, 2016
Earlier this year, while testing the autopilot feature on a Tesla S sedan, an occupant was fatally injured when the car failed to brake before it turned in front of a semitrailer. The car hit the truck, ran under the trailer, and then veered off the road and into a power pole. The car accident has sparked an ongoing debate about the safety of self-driving technologies, and their future in commercial trucking.
Trucking companies have been investing time and money into developing autonomous commercial vehicles, including Daimler Trucks, Peterbilt, and Volvo. Tesla founder, Elon Musk, is also getting in on the action with plans to introduce electric, self-driving trucks. In a blog posted on Tesla’s website, Musk stated that as the technology grows, all Tesla vehicles will have self-driving capabilities. The heavy-duty electric trucks, which are currently in the early stages of development, will be introduced next year, according to Musk.
While the technology has come a long way in recent years, there are still concerns about how and under what circumstances the driver should be prepared to take over if the self-driving technology disengages. According to Musk, the autopilot is an assist feature, so even though the car has taken over a certain level of control over the driving, it is the driver’s responsibility to remain engaged, with their hands on the steering wheel at all times. A spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also warns that, even when a self-driving feature is engaged, the driver must remain vigilant when behind the wheel.
New Regulatory Guidelines
According to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, it is just a matter of time before autonomous vehicles are on the roads, so it is crucial that there are regulations and guidelines that address the unique nature of these vehicles. Safety has to be the driving force behind all regulatory guidelines.
While no one has any intention of putting these vehicles on the road before they are ready, there are some who believe that we cannot afford to wait until the vehicle has been perfected. Both Musk and National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator Mark Rosekind believe that the number of highway fatalities from truck accidents will be significantly reduced with the introduction of automated vehicles. Rosekind pointed out that close to 94 percent of highway fatalities are due to human error, including driving while intoxicated, speeding or texting while driving. Automated vehicles have the potential to prevent 19 out of every 20 crashes, according to Rosekind.
Safety advocacy groups like Public Citizen, the Center for Auto Safety, and Consumer Watchdog call for more testing and stricter safety standards before introducing the “robot car technology” to the public.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Autonomous Vehicle Technology Car Accidents
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed in a car or truck accident, contact the dedicated Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We will thoroughly investigate your case and determine who is at fault. We will work tirelessly until we secure the maximum compensation for your injuries. For a free case review, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie and Towson, allowing us to represent injured accident victims and their families throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.