Self-driving automobiles, while not fully autonomous yet, provide motorists with the option to cede a measure of control behind the staring wheel. There is enough evidence that this technology is safer, as driver error is the leading cause of auto crashes in Florida. However, the dawn of self-driving cars has meant that the issue of liability has become something annoying. If an auto accident happens, who should be held liable, is it the driver or the auto-maker?

The California Department of Motor Vehicles recently revealed that it wouldn’t adopt a rule that allows auto-manufacturers evade liability for accidents where the self-driving car has not been maintained to the manufacturer’s specifications. The rule, as proposed by the auto manufacturing industry, would have absolved producers of self-driving vehicles of product liability for owner’s failure to clean the car sensors properly, having a tire slightly under-inflated or failure to meet the oil change recommendations.

Yes. It is true that car owners are responsible for the adequate maintenance of their vehicles (or end up facing potential liability when the failure to do so ultimately results in a deadly crash), but these types of strict maintenance requirements don’t exist for standard-driven vehicles. At this stage, self-driving auto manufacturers have not moved past the prototype juncture, but they have been working on a host of marketing initiatives to lure prospects who might otherwise be worried about the safety and security such automobiles. It is understandably unnerving to hand over the control (when on the wheel) of your life to a machine completely or to look and see a semi-truck, moving fast paced down the highway without a driver.

Federal lawmakers and regulators have given automakers a wider berth for the testing of these products, after taking consideration of the potential drive down estimated 30,000 vehicle accident deaths that happen in the U.S. per year. By ensuring automakers are held liable for the design and construction of their cars (and not exploiting any loopholes like the ones expressed in this rule), there is an excellent chance that automakers will become exceedingly cautious before releasing auto driving vehicles to the public and this is a good thing. Too many product manufacturers (particularly vehicle makers) release products without doing adequate testing or giving assurances that these vehicles are safe to drive.

Seek The Help of a Florida Car Accident Lawyer

Product liability lawsuits for auto accidents aren’t very common, but they are not especially rare as well. Auto manufacturers in recent years have been made to recall vehicles that are defective. In 2016 a total of 53.2 million vehicles were recalled largely due to a problem with the airbags. Compare that figure to the 11 million vehicles that were recalled in 2011. When you have been a victim of an auto accident due to the manufacturer’s negligence, you can seek help from a Florida car accident lawyer. Liability in self-driving cars will depend on the level of autonomy. A Florida car accident lawyer will know how to share liability and help you get the best result in an auto accident case.