Drivers in Colorado and elsewhere may not understand the advanced safety technology that automakers are increasingly placing in new vehicles. As a result, they may not be using or responding to the systems properly.
Currently, around half of all new vehicles manufactured in the U.S. are semi-automated, including those with relatively low price tags. In addition, automakers have pledged to make automatic emergency braking systems standard on all new cars sold in the U.S. by 2020. However, many drivers don't understand how this technology works, which sometimes leads to fatalities. For example, a survey found that 11% of drivers misunderstand how semi-autonomous vehicles work, thinking that they can use their phone or read while the car drives itself. In fact, several drivers who have let their semi-automated vehicles drive themselves ended up dying in horrific crashes. While fully automated cars are being tested across the country, none of them have yet reached the market.
The situation is being compared to the automated technology that has been added to commercial aircraft over the decades. While these systems have helped pilots avoid crashes, they have also had some tragic unintended consequences, including the two recent crashes involving Boeing 737 Max planes. Analysts say the solution to both problems is to make sure drivers and pilots are thoroughly educated on the advanced safety technologies that are installed in their cars and planes.
Someone who has been injured by a driver improperly operating a semi-automated vehicle might have grounds to take legal action. For instance, by filing a personal injury lawsuit, an injured party could obtain compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, property damage and other accident-related losses. An injured victim could initiate the lawsuit process by partnering with an attorney who handles car crash claims.