Technology can help to prove car accident liability, keep drivers safe, and increase situational awareness on the road. Still, it can lead to distracted driving and over-reliance on enhanced safety features.
Dash-cam footage, 360-degree cameras, or event data recorder (EDR) information may be used to prove who the at-fault driver was. Even standard technology, like red light cameras, may play a part in litigation.
No matter which side of a car accident personal injury claim you’re on, it’s very likely that technology will make an appearance. Our car accident attorneys in San Diego explore how technology can affect car accident claims.
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Technology & Car Accidents: The Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving caused more than 3,000 car accident deaths in 2020, more than in 2019. Thirteen percent of these fatal cases involved using a cell phone and nearly 330,000 additional auto accident-related injuries were caused by distracted driving that same year.
In 2022, NPR found that automated vehicle technology caused nearly 400 car crashes. Tesla’s semi-automated driver-assist systems were found to be the biggest culprit in this instance.
The NHTSA reports that, between February 2020 and February 2021, nearly 6,000 drivers died from technology-related car accidents. An additional 500,000 injuries also due to technology-related car accidents occurred that same year.
Finally, the NHTSA, in May of 2022, saw a 10.5% year-over-year increase in the number of fatal car accidents to occur since 2021.
It’s no secret that technology can play a damaging role on the road. But how does technology work towards keeping drivers safe and recording important events?
Common Automobile Safety Features
Automobile safety has evolved tremendously over the years: Backup cameras, alcohol screening systems, and even drowsy driving alerts work to keep drivers alert and safe on the road.
Some common examples of automobile safety features include:
- Dash cams: These record events in front of the driver’s vehicle.
- Event data recorders (EDRs): Also known as the car’s “black box”: When it detects something erratic or unusual about the car’s behavior, it can record up to 30 different data points worth of information.
- Blind spot detectors: These keep drivers aware of their blindspots when changing lanes, turning, and driving.
- 360-degree cameras: These provide the driver with 360-degree awareness, alerting them to obstacles and people they may not see.
- Backup cameras: As the name implies, these help a driver navigate the act of backing out of a parking spot, driveway, or other location.
- Lane departure warnings alert the driver when their vehicle drifts out of its lane, potentially helping them stay awake behind the wheel.
- Electronic stability: This works to help keep a vehicle safe and secure while driving on slippery roads or through icy conditions.
Despite continued innovation in automobile safety features, the driver still requires situational awareness and quick decision-making. No amount of technology can replace learning how to drive safely.
How Do Vehicle Safety Features Affect Car Accident Claims?
In a nutshell, the technology in most modern vehicles built after 2014 helps car accident attorneys and insurance companies reconstruct the accident and the events leading up to it. This information can prove vital in properly establishing fault in a car accident claim, whether settled out of court or sent to trial by jury.
Insurance companies can be difficult to deal with after a car accident: They’ll likely deploy whichever tactics they can to reduce their client’s liability as much as possible, even if their client was to blame.
If one or both of the vehicles involved in the accident had technology that left behind important event information, an experienced car accident attorney can use it to remove this bias from the equation entirely and eliminate the insurance company’s ability to blur the line between guilty and innocent.
What About Public Surveillance?
If a red light camera or security camera caught footage of the car accident, that footage might be subpoenaed by the plaintiff’s or defendant’s car accident attorney and used in the car accident claim to determine fault.
Should the case go to court, it’ll be up to the jury to decide how to interpret the footage; if the case results in an out-of-court settlement, negotiations between both parties based on the footage will hopefully lead to a mutual agreement.
What Happens if Faulty Vehicle Technology Causes the Accident?
If a car accident occurs because of faulty vehicle technology, the manufacturer of that technology may be found liable for the accident.
For example, if a driver uses a backup camera to exit their driveway, but a defect in the camera’s engineering leads them not to see and hit a passing pedestrian, the camera manufacturer will likely be pursued for damages instead of the driver.
Win the Damages You’re Owed From Your San Diego Car Accident Claim With Help From HHJ Trial Attorneys
Pursuing damages from a car accident claim alone is not considered pragmatic. Enlisting experienced and qualified help will go a long way.
Contact us today for a free consultation from our experienced San Diego car accident attorneys to discuss how you can claim damages successfully.