February 24th, 2020|
Whether you got your license before rearview cameras were required in all new cars, or you remember when airbags were considered a luxury, then you already know how much safer vehicles are today than they used to be. But you also know that these safety features didn’t materialize overnight and that automakers have stumbled greatly along the way.
When you hear about the features tomorrow’s cars might have, are you filled with excitement or suspicion? Maybe you feel both. There are reasons to look forward to the technology your next car will be equipped with, but there are also reasons to proceed with caution.
Reasons to Look Forward to Tomorrow’s Cars
Think about the cars you rode in as a child. They likely didn’t have onboard diagnostics, rear view cameras, or GPS navigation. Advances in vehicle technology have made driving safer and more convenient. If the future mirrors the past, we can expect similar advances in the years to come.
Human error accounts for nearly 19 out of every 20 crashes. Self-driving cars are still largely a fantasy today, but the prospect of vehicles that eliminate human error from the equation should excite all of us.
There are other possible perks, too. Health monitoring technology, interactive windshields, and better entertainment options could make your future commute more enjoyable.
Reasons to Be Worried
First, technology has yet to save us from ourselves. More than 35,000 people die in crashes every year in the U.S. Pedestrian fatalities have also been on the rise. Until we reach a point where all vehicles are fully autonomous, the human factor will still be at play.
Second, the less control we have while driving, the more trust we’re placing in manufacturers to get things right. A software defect in a new vehicle model could have disastrous consequences for the safety of everyone that uses the roads. Hackers could easily manipulate our vehicles and steal our data if manufacturers skimp on cybersecurity measures.
As we become more reliant on autonomous systems, the less skilled we might become as drivers. Some safety experts suggest that advancements in vehicle tech are making drivers more distracted and slower to avoid collisions.
The Final Verdict
The vehicles of the future will likely be safer than the ones we drive now. The prospect of safer roads should give you hope, but we must realize that the path to this safer road-topia will likely come at a cost. As manufacturers include an increasing number of components and technologies in our vehicles, we can expect to face challenges similar to those of the past.
Airbags, seatbelts, brakes, headlights – all of these basic components have the potential to cause motorists harm if they are designed or manufactured with flaws. Defective vehicle lawsuits are a staple of civil litigation in the U.S. and are proof that automakers often sell dangerous vehicles and vehicle parts at the cost of their customers’ safety.
Making Our Roads Safer by Holding Negligent Automakers Accountable
A future where we depend on smarter vehicles is one where we place more trust in manufacturers. They haven’t had the greatest track record in the past, so being skeptical about the future is a natural concern.
At Nurenberg Paris, we believe that accountability is and will continue to be a cornerstone of road safety. That’s true whether we’re talking about the responsibility that drivers have toward one another or the responsibility that automakers have towards consumers.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product or a negligent driver, we want to hear from you. Nurenberg Paris offers free case reviews, so you can have a better understanding of your legal options. Contact our Ohio product liability attorneys today to speak to our team.