Legal Issues With Driverless Cars

Get Ready Ohio: Legal Headaches From Driverless Cars Are On The Way!

We all know that new technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace. One of the newest pieces of technology that we will be seeing in the coming years is driverless cars, i.e. cars that are run completely by computers. These cars will rely heavily on motion sensors and other sophisticated equipment to regulate speed, braking, and maintaining the lane.

Many states have started to address the legal question that we all know is coming: what happens when a driverless car is involved in an accident? Obviously there would be more “targets” for a lawsuit involving a car with driverless technology such as the driverless software technology company, the car’s owner, a passenger that should have taken over control, or even the car manufacturer itself.

With some experts predicting that driverless cars will be in showrooms by 2020, many states are beginning to write and pass laws that address issues specific to driverless cars, such as who can potentially be liable for an accident. Three states have already passed laws on the subject.

Ohio has not yet begun to address the matter, but given the unstoppable evolution of technology, the General Assembly will not be able to bury its head in the sand for too long. Most likely, the first step in Ohio will be for the legislature to evaluate the laws that have been passed in other states and “pick and choose” from the best aspects of those laws for what we will use in Ohio as our law.

There are also those who are advocating for one uniform federal law to set the rules for who may potentially be liable in driverless car accidents. These people argue that it would be counter-productive for there to be 50 states with their own “patchwork” laws.

One thing is for sure: one way or another, the law will have to evolve along with the new technology.

If you have a legal question that you would like to discuss with one of the attorneys at our office, feel free to give us a call today at 419-241-1395 or 1-800-637-8170.

Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC