News & Articles

Highways of the Future: Self-Driving Vehicles

August 13th, 2018
Self Driving Cars

In new cars today, driver-assisted technologies are quickly becoming a driver’s new best friend. Features such as backup cameras, automatic braking systems, parking assist and blind-spot detection are common in newer cars and have even reduced injuries caused by car accidents. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) believes strongly enough in these technologies that they are pushing for backup cameras to be mandatory on all new cars in the United States.

As driver-assisted technologies are continuing to evolve, fully autonomous vehicles are also being tested by several major automotive companies. While there are many potential benefits to self-driving vehicles, such as safety, economic impact and mobility, it is important to consider what would happen if you were in an accident involving a self-driving vehicle. With an increase in reliance on technology in vehicles, legal cases will become more complex. It is important to have an attorney on your side who can provide the insights and expertise to navigate the legal and regulatory shifts in this ever-changing area. Today we’re sharing some preliminary background and tips on driver-assisted technologies and how they’re altering the way we drive and handle accident cases.

First, let’s look at the benefits of a driver-assisted vehicle.


According to the NHTSA, 94 percent of car and motor vehicle accidents are caused by human error. That’s a staggering statistic and one that could be reduced with the emergence of self-driving and automated cars. Autonomous cars will not text and drive, run red lights, speed or otherwise ignore traffic laws. There’s no a risk of dozing off behind the wheel or drinking and driving.

Economic Impact

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), car accidents account for nearly $871 billion in annual negative economic impact. This figure factors in lost wages, emergency services, medical and rehabilitation costs, traffic congestion and more. Autonomous cars could help reduce the amount of money that is lost due to accidents.


Self-driving cars have the potential to fundamentally change the lives of those who have mobility challenges or do not have a driver’s license. From elderly to vision-impaired individuals, automated vehicles may be able to  allow individuals to be more independent.

Accidents and Injuries Involving a Self-Driving Vehicle

While the benefits of a self-driving vehicle are many, the technology is not fully developed and could still cause problems. Although self-driving vehicles could help reduce the number accidents on the roadways, accidents are always possible. Technology sometimes fails, which is why it is important to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side following an accident.

If you are injured in an accident involving a self-driving vehicle, there are many complexities. Is the driver of the vehicle to blame? Is the car manufacturer at fault? A product manufacturer may be partly responsible for an accident if, for example, the company produced brakes that failed and caused the accident. As more and more self-driving cars are put on the roadways, we may continue to see a shift from the driver being held responsible to vehicle manufacturers now accountable for the cause.

Pursing compensation from car or parts manufactures is complex and often requires seeking compensation from large insurance companies. Having an experienced attorney on your side who understands the law and can fight for you is critical.

At Dale E. Anstine Personal Injury Law Firm, we encourage safe and responsible driving. If you or a loved one in is an accident and have been injured, reach out today for your free consultation. Get a specialized attorney on your side who has a full understanding of personal injury law to know what you may be facing in court. Consultations are always free, we’re available 24/7 and there’s no fee unless we win for you.