Cars with no drivers. If you mentioned that just a few years ago people would think you had lost your sanity, and yet today they are a reality.
Using a combination of cameras, sensors, GPS, and other technologies, driverless motor vehicles, also known as autonomous cars and trucks, are changing the way our legal system views who – or what – is responsible for damages, injuries, and deaths that happen as a result of accidents on our roads and highways.
While you have probably heard about some accidents in Florida and across the country involving driverless cars, you probably don’t know that driverless big-rig trucks may soon be operating on our roads, and without testing, certification, or inspections as early as next year. It seems the plan for auto-pilot trucks is to have a “driver” actually control a truck via remote control for the first part of its journey, guiding the rig from the origin out to a highway. Once on the highway the truck would operate by autonomous technology for most of the trip. When the destination is near, a remote driver would once again take control, guiding the truck to the final destination.
If this seems rather disconcerting to you, it probably should. The heavier a vehicle is, the more damage it can do, and big-rig trucks are very, very heavy. The average weight of a Toyota Camry is approximately 3200 to 3500 pounds. The weight limits for a loaded tractor-trailer varies by state but 80,000 pounds is not uncommon. That’s 22 Toyotas.
If a computer, sensor, or other component malfunctions and a big-rig truck goes out of control the damage could be catastrophic.
A new Florida law signed by Governor Ron DeSantis takes effect July 1st and paves the way for trucks and cars to operate in Florida as long as they follow federal laws and rules and have the proper insurance. Ride-sharing companies like Uber can also operate driverless vehicles. Click here for the Channel 5 story about the new law.
Only time will tell if these new “robo-trucks” will be safe but it will be very important to watch them carefully.
Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys
A whole new area of law has opened as the focus of many accident investigations may be on technology and possibly less on human beings. Legislators must enact laws in order to maintain a system whereby victims can be adequately compensated for lost wages, damaged property, medical expenses, pain, and suffering.
The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has been on the front lines helping victims of automobile, motorcycle, and truck accidents in south Florida for over 25 years. Maintaining our high standards and our reputation requires constant monitoring of changes in the law, and research into the latest technologies. We will continue to provide every client with diligent representation and fight for their right to obtain the highest possible monetary settlements and judgments. Questions? We’re here to help. Call (954) 356-0006 and speak directly with one of our attorneys.