Is it time for autonomous trucking to take over? Replacing human drivers with technology has a lot of appeal. The vast majority of fatal car and truck accidents are the result of driver error. People drive drowsy. People drive drunk. People drive while looking at their phones. Bad driving costs tens of thousands of lives every year. We all see unsafe drivers every time we hit the roads.
Recently, the former Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, said that the time is now for self-driving trucks. He believes that long-haul trucking is the right place to begin integrating self-driving vehicles with ordinary traffic.
If it’s only a matter of time before autonomous vehicles hit the streets in large numbers, what should drive the switch? One logical answer is that autonomous vehicles should take over when they are safer than human drivers. Unfortunately, the call for autonomous trucks may be based on a different problem.
The American Trucking Association has long reported a shortage of available truck drivers. That shortage has grown worse in recent years and may be coming to a head. The ATA claims there are 80,000 fewer qualified truck drivers than are needed.
Supply chain problems are currently affecting us in ways we never imagined before. The pandemic, as well as other factors, have led to shortages in a wide variety of products Americans use. These shortages may be used to push autonomous vehicles onto the road before they are ready.
Driverless vehicles are not free from defects. Autonomous trucks will get into accidents, and some of those accidents are likely to cause serious injuries or death. Motorists need to be assured that someone will be held accountable when these accidents occur.
The manufacturers, trucking companies, and maintenance workers who deal with driverless vehicles should still be held accountable when their mistakes cause harm. To an injured person, it makes little difference whether the truck accident was caused by a computer glitch or a tired driver.
Truck accidents are often complex and lead to serious injuries. If you have been involved in a trucking accident, you need experienced legal guidance. Call one of our skilled lawyers at Ted B. Lyon & Associates in Dallas at 800-TedLyon or send us a message. We can help you get the compensation you deserve after a truck accident.