The Impact of Self-Driving VehiclesOctober 17, 2017
It is just a matter of time before self-driving cars are going to be sharing the road with driver operated vehicles. In fact, some predict that they will eventually replace driver operated vehicles altogether. As manufacturers continue to fine tune and perfect this new technology, the auto insurance industry must figure out how to insure these vehicles and the individuals who own them. From a consumer standpoint, only time will tell if the self-driving car will take over the auto industry the same way the iPhone transformed the communications industry.
One of the main benefits of self-driving cars is that they are expected to significantly reduce the number of car accidents, since over 90 percent of car accidents are caused by driver error. This includes such reckless driving behavior as distracted driving, drunk driving, and drowsy driving. Currently, insurance companies generate approximately $200 billion in premiums each year in the United States. From an insurance standpoint, experts predict that this will be drastically reduced with the introduction of self-driving cars.
Insurance industry officials, safety advocates, and regulators believe that there are important issues that must be addressed and questions that need answers before they can determine how to insure driverless cars. For example, insurance companies will need to figure out how to create policies that insure the self-driving car as well as the drivers who continue to use regular cars, considering the fact that they will be sharing the road. According to the Assistant General Counsel for the American Insurance Association, until we know more about these vehicles, they should not share the road with vehicles like big-rig tractor trailers.
According to Tony Seba, author of Solar Trillions and Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation, the following changes can be expected by 2030, which can have a significant impact on consumers:
- Approximately 95 percent of passenger miles traveled in the United States will be served by self-driving vehicles that are owned by companies offering Transportation as a Service
- Close to 60 percent of vehicles on the road will be ride-sharing services provided by self-driving cars
- The average household will save up to $5,600 a year that they would otherwise have spent on gas-powered car ownership
There are, however, plenty of Americans who will be hit hard by the rise of self-driving cars. Truck drivers, drivers for companies like Uber or Lyft, oil companies, and auto manufacturers will suffer financially if their jobs disappear. However, until there is a definitive set of rules and regulations, it is unclear when we can expect to see industry-wide changes. Elaine Chao, the Department of Transportation Chief has yet to voice an opinion about self-driving cars or issue any comments address regulations.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Victims of Car Accidents
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident involving a self-driving vehicle, do not hesitate to contact the highly skilled Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will investigate the details surrounding your accident and determine whether the self-driving vehicle was responsible for causing the accident, in which case we will hold the manufacturer responsible for your injuries. Our dedicated team will protect your rights and seek the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, 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 car accident victims in 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, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.