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Automated Vehicle Crashes – Who’s to Blame?

Car crashes are responsible for thousands of deaths each year in the United States. Hundreds of thousand more crashes result in serious injury, requiring car accident attorneys. The push for automated cars to become a societal norm is increasing each year. One of the many benefits is ruling out human error, hopefully leading to fewer car crashes. If you’ve been in a car accident, consider hiring a car accident attorney.


With that in mind, what would happen if you or your loved one were struck by an automated, self-driving vehicle? The reality is that this remains somewhat unclear. However, this reality could be somewhat of a good sign, which means that not many crashes have occurred to date.


The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) reports six different levels of vehicle automation. The levels are as follows:

  • Level 0 or no automation: No autonomous features. The driver is in complete control.
  • Level 1 or driver assistance: Although the driver is in control of the vehicle, the vehicle is equipped with items such as power steering.
  • Level 2 or partial automation: The vehicle has combined automation features, such as cruise control, but the driver must remain alert.
  • Level 3 or conditional automation: The vehicle drivers without the need of a driver. However, the driver must also still be alert.
  • Level 4 or high automation: A driver is optional but has the option of taking control.
  • Level 5 or full automation: The vehicle does not require a driver to be present in the vehicle

Based on the levels above, it’s clear that each possible car accident could be looked at differently. Was human error involved, possibly resulting from the backup driver failing to intervene? Did the vehicle manufacturer perhaps create a defective vehicle? Or did the technology simply fail? Multiple people or companies may have legal responsibility.

Unfortunately, a clear answer to this may still be years away.


In the meantime, have you been in a car accident? Visit Robert J. DeBry & Associates today to see how a car accident attorney can assist you.

By |2021-09-09T15:13:19-07:00August 30th, 2021|car accident attorney, Robert J. DeBry & Associates|0 Comments

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