Self-Driving Cars and Auto Accidents | SMT Legal

Should Cars Talk To Motorcycles?

Date: Apr 13th, 2017 By Jonathan M. Stewart
Category: Motorcycle Accident

Self-driving Vehicles and Motorcycle/Automobile Accidents in Pennsylvania

If you know about or have been following the development of self driving cars, you probably know that they will be coming to Pennsylvania roads as soon as 2020. After all, a number of features associated with autonomous vehicles are present in today’s vehicles; including blind spot warning functions and hazard detection systems that lead to automatic braking.

An integral part of these safety features (and future autonomous features) is the ability for cars to exchange information about location and speeds so that collisions can be avoided. The technology is being developed so that cars can see and detect each other; thereby reducing the possibility of accidents caused by driver error.

But what if cars talked to motorcycles? Or at least provided some warning of an unseen hazard? After all, the common claim by drivers in car-motorcycle accidents is that the driver did not see the motorcycle before such a crash. It is reasonable to assume that automatic braking and blind spot warning systems could warn drivers of slow moving or stationary objects that a car could run into, but it remains to be seen whether faster moving objects would be “seen.”

Regardless, drivers have a legal duty to use reasonable care when they are behind the wheel to look out for and avoid hazards, such as motorcycle riders. This means that staying off the cell phone, not texting and not reading messages are essential to being safe while on the road. If a person fails to use reasonable care, and it results in a motorcycle accident, the driver could be held liable.

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