Automation Can Complicate Issue of Liability for Truck Accidents

- David Boehrer

Nevada was the first state to allow automated vehicles on its roads. A few years ago, it issued regulations which allowed licensing driverless cars and highly automated trucks for testing.

Just recently, Nevada authorities certified a specific 18-wheeler for use on public roads after the automated vehicle passed a lengthy licensing process which involved testing technology for crash avoidance, camera, and blind sight. While the highly automated truck is accepted in Nevada, its technology is continuously being tested and modified that it may take some more years before driverless trucks can travel on highways. The automated trucks are currently assisted by human operators or drivers who handle the more challenging tasks of maneuvering in narrow and more intricate city streets.

Safety of Robot Trucks

Safety and legal responsibility in cases of truck accidents are key concerns arising from the introduction of the highly automated vehicles. U.S. Department of Transportation data showed that there were 3,602 truck accident deaths in 2013. And the numbers have increased since then.

Authorities said that the high-tech trucks promise to be safer than its non-automated versions, raising hopes of reducing deadly truck accidents in the state of Nevada. Proponents as well of the technology maintain that robot truckers may be safer because they are less likely to speed or operate in unsafe conditions and won’t suffer from exhaustion or fatigue. It must be noted that around 10 to 20 percent of fatal accidents in the US are linked to driver fatigue.

Liability for Truck Accidents

In a collision involving a robot truck, who then may be held responsible for the resulting injuries? In collisions involving ordinary trucks, the driver, trucking company, manufacturer of a truck component or parts, or the other driver may be the cause of the accident.

In an automated truck accident, legal liability would still have to depend on the specific circumstances of the collision. The automated truck manufacturer, its driver/operator, or the programmer of the technology that failed during the crash may have potential liability for injuries arising from the collision. An experienced truck accident attorney should be consulted in case of injury.

In a truck accident, it is ordinarily not the truck drivers who are seriously injured. If your car or vehicle collided with a truck, you must have your injuries treated immediately. And if you are in Henderson or anywhere in Nevada, the David Boehrer Law Firm has years of experience in truck accidents and can help you. Call us today at (702) 750-0750 to schedule a free initial consultation.