How Will Autonomous Cars Change Driving Laws?

Ten years ago, people thought of driverless cars as something from a sci-fi film, but now they’re becoming a reality. So many car companies are developing their own autonomous vehicles and in the next few years, we may see them on roads everywhere. The introduction of driverless cars is going to change the way that we approach driving in so many different ways. A lot of people believe that owning your own car will be a thing of the past and you’ll simply call up a car to collect you when you need one. There will also be a lot of changes to the laws around driving but at the minute, it’s not quite clear what those changes are going to be. For now, we can only speculate and wait until legislation catches up with the technology. These are some of the ways that autonomous cars could change driving laws. 

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Licenses 

At the minute, everybody needs to pass a test before they’re legally allowed to drive a car. It’s important that you actually know how to operate a vehicle before you get behind the wheel of one on your own. As it stands, you still need a license to operate a driverless car because the law states that you have to have both hands on the wheel at all times so you’re ready to take manual control over the car if something goes wrong. That’s because the technology isn’t perfect yet and there have been quite a few accidents involving driverless cars. But what happens when the technology improves? Will we trust the car entirely and get rid of the manual controls, so people can use them without needing a license. This is a possibility, but it may be the case that people still need a license so they can operate the car in an emergency situation. 

Accidents 

If you’re involved in a car accident, you can usually work out who is to blame. At some point, one of the drivers involved will have made some kind of mistake, so they can be held accountable. If somebody causes an accident, you can hire a car wreck lawyer and make a claim against them. But who is to blame in an accident between two driverless cars? If the technology works as it should, accidents shouldn’t happen at all. However, there is always the chance of malfunctions and in that case, is the owner of the car that malfunctioned to blame even though they had no control over it? This is surely going to be one of the trickiest legal issues around driverless cars. 

Insurance 

Insurance is another big issue because if people don’t own their own cars, do they need to get insurance? If things go the way that people are predicting and fleet owners operate all of the cars, it is likely that they will be the ones that need to insure all of the vehicles while the people that are using them don’t need to worry. Insurance rates are also likely to drop significantly because the number of accidents will be massively reduced once you take human error out of the equation. 

There is no telling exactly how the laws around driving will change, but these are some of the biggest questions that need to be answered as driverless cars become more common.  

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