February 10th, 2020|
When you read an article about self-driving cars or interactive dashboards, what do you feel? Do automated vehicles fill you with dread, or are you excitedly anticipating the day when you can get in your car and have it drive itself?
As a law firm that pays close attention to road and vehicle safety, we know that these advances will present both good and bad consequences for all of us.
In other words, there are pros and cons of new vehicle technology, which we should all consider as we cruise into this brave new world. Before we dive into the potential downsides of emerging technologies, let’s focus on the perks.
Pro – A Safer Commute
More than 35,000 people die in vehicle crashes every year in the United States. For each of those deaths, even more motorists are involved in nonfatal crashes that often result in injuries. The biggest upside of improved vehicle technology is the potential to reduce the number of overall crashes.
This is exactly what the U.S. Department of Transportation and countless road safety advocates are hoping automated systems will accomplish. Officials also hope that automation will bring less traffic and improved fuel efficiency in vehicles.
Pro – A Better Experience for Motorists
From smart displays on windshields to brain wave technology that helps drivers avoid crashes, new vehicles could offer features we can’t even imagine. Many of these innovations might dramatically improve our experience behind the wheel and, in some cases, improve our health.
For example, vehicle technology could not only get better in diagnosing problems with vehicles, but also diagnosing the health of drivers. Ford is currently developing technology that monitors a driver’s heart health through sensors placed in the seats of its vehicles.
Con – The Growing Pains of New Technologies
Over the years, manufacturers have made safety features available that were anything but safe. For example, seatbelts and airbags are some of the most basic but useful features in vehicles. However, several incarnations of the technologies have posed a threat to vehicle occupants. The latest examples of potential dangers include Takata airbags that could cause shrapnel injuries when deployed and allegations of Honda seatbelt defects.
Automation is likely to become integrated into our vehicles slowly as cars edge toward being fully autonomous. During this transition, we will need to learn how to operate new semi-autonomous systems. That could present an entirely new learning curve for drivers. So far, manufacturers and safety officials don’t seem to know who will be responsible for educating buyers on how to operate semi-autonomous vehicles safely.
Con – Smart Cars are Vulnerable to Hackers
An increasingly digital world has made our lives easier in many ways. But we are also more vulnerable to fraud and hackers. As our vehicles become more reliant on technology, they too are susceptible to hackers.
Cybersecurity concerns prompted a 2015 recall involving 1.4 million vehicles after researchers discovered that it was possible to disable vehicles’ brakes and steering capabilities while they were on the highway. Hackers have already found ways to access the information of drivers and even shut down some engines remotely.
Understanding Your Rights as a Consumer
You likely have your own list of pros and cons of new vehicle technology. If you’re skeptical of automakers’ capacity to address some of our biggest road safety challenges, we understand your reservations. Manufacturers often make mistakes that have serious consequences for all of us.
Consider some of the fatal defects in vehicles over the past few decades. From GM’s faulty ignition switches to Takata’s defective airbags to the top-heavy design of Ford’s Bronco II, manufacturers haven’t always inspired hope in car buyers.
When a defective product harms a consumer, the consumer have the right to hold the manufacturer accountable through product liability claims. These claims don’t just offer consumers a pathway to compensation; they also make the market safer for others who might purchase potentially dangerous products.
Schedule a Free Case Assessment with Berg Injury Lawyers
The good news is that you have the right to hold a manufacturer accountable if they sell you a product that causes you harm. If you have been sold a defective vehicle or vehicle part, we encourage you to contact the team at Berg Injury Lawyers.
Our California defective product lawyers have years of experience handling these claims. We believe that unless consumers take a stand against negligent manufacturers, companies will continue to sell dangerous products to buyers. Don’t pay the price for a manufacturer’s mistakes.
We know you might have questions you want answered about your legal options, which is why we offer free consultations. Fill out our online contact form today to get started with a case evaluation.