When victims of truck accidents seek compensation, they have two choices: they can either file a personal injury lawsuit with the trucking company or engage in alternative dispute resolution to reach a settlement. Civil law in California, as in other states, allows for either option. However, victims should understand the difference between binding and non-binding agreements.
California drivers may have heard about the driver who was killed in March 2018 while their Tesla was on autopilot; in another accident involving an autonomous vehicle, a self-driving Uber car hit and killed an Arizona pedestrian. However, some experts caution that it is important not to react disproportionately to a low number of accidents by autonomous cars since they can significantly improve highway safety.
California residents who are involved in an accident with a self-driving car could have limited recourse if automakers get their way. Per Uber's terms of service, the families of those who are killed in its self-driving vehicles have to go to arbitration as opposed to court to settle the matter. A group of senators are now asking other major car companies if they plan to do the same with their autonomous vehicles.
A study shows that drivers in California and across the country express a great deal of concern about distracted drivers but continue to engage in these behaviors when behind the wheel themselves. In the survey, conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety as part of the annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, the number of drivers who say they have recently used a handheld cell phone while driving has shot up by 46 percent since 2013. At the same time, 88 percent of respondents also said that distracted driving poses a major threat.