Are Cars with Autopilot Technology a Danger to Maryland Motorists?

The mass production of cars that are equipped with autopilot technology is now a reality. For the most part, the technology works well and is generally accepted to be safe. However, many are concerned that the increased prevalence of these vehicles will result in a spike in Maryland truck accidents.

In fact, earlier this month, another fatal collision involving a Tesla vehicle occurred on a Florida highway. According to a recent news report, the crash occurred when an eastbound semi-truck came to a stop at a stop sign. After the semi-truck entered the intersection in preparation to make a left-hand turn, a south-bound Tesla crashed into the side of the truck. Apparently, neither the car’s autopilot technology nor the driver of the Tesla saw the truck enter the highway.

The collision sheared the roof off of the Tesla, and the car continued in auto-pilot mode for another 500 yards before coming to a complete stop. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency responders.

The crash is reminiscent of the 2016 fatal truck accident involving another Tesla model, where the car’s autopilot technology failed to notice a truck that had entered the intersection. That accident triggered a federal investigation lasting over a year. Ultimately, however, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration determined that there was no defect in the autopilot technology and thus a recall was unnecessary.

The most recent accident is still under investigation by local authorities, and it remains to be seen if federal investigators will open up a case. At this point, it is unclear if a problem with the autopilot technology caused the collision.

Underride Accidents

The tragic accident described above is referred to as an underride accident, which is one of the deadliest types of truck accidents. An underride accident occurs when a smaller vehicle collides with a semi-truck and ends up being wedged underneath the truck. These are so deadly because they often result in the occupants of the vehicle being decapitated or sustained serious injuries to their head or neck.

All semi-trucks are required to have underride guards on the rear of the truck; however, side-underride guards are still considered optional safety equipment. There has been a push by some lawmakers to make side-underride guards mandatory; however, this movement has not yet gained significant traction.

Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Truck Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland truck accident, or any Maryland car accident involving a vehicle with autopilot technology, our dedicated team of Maryland personal injury attorneys can help you pursue a claim for compensation based on the injuries you have sustained. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, we represent injury victims across Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. To learn more, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated Maryland truck accident attorney today.

More Blog Posts:

Expert Witness Testimony May Be Necessary in Some Maryland Car Accident Cases, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published February 19, 2019.

Maryland Employers Can Be Held Liable for the Negligent Acts of Their Employees, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published March 4, 2019.

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