Britton Law, P.A.
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Autonomous vehicles and the insurance industry

North Carolina residents may be aware that the world is experiencing the advent of self-driving cars. Although the use of such vehicles may seem exciting, there are issues that must be taken into consideration.

The insurance industry provides a service that uses risk as a common denominator. If the use of autonomous vehicles lessens the risk that a driver may have an accident, it may result in a change in how insurance is sold. For instance, some cars are expected to determine if risk is present by accessing the parameters that place the driver in harm's way. Driving late at night or speeding are two such factors. While such cars may do the driving, it is possible that at some point a driver will need to intervene, and the capability of that individual to do so might change the odds of an accident.

An inebriated driver might escalate the chance of an accident. A sophisticated vehicle of the future may be able to detect a higher than acceptable alcohol level and ask the driver if he or she wishes to proceed. In the event that the answer is yes, then insurance rates may be raised for that person.

Insurance policies may be self-insured, and some car manufacturers are exploring that possibility. Based on a low level of risk, the insurance industry may experience change. However, given that even the algorithms that drive autonomous cars sometimes fail, some risk remains. In addition, driver error may still cause accidents.

In the event of a car accident, someone injured by a negligent driver may benefit from consulting an attorney who might review the accident records as well as information gleaned from the vehicle's data storage. To remedy damages, the attorney may file a lawsuit in civil court.

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