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Are Self-Driving Trucks Safe to Be on Our Roads?

We have all heard the somewhat frightening rumor about self-driving trucks, but the idea is so radical that most of us think it’s a concern we can push off for a decade or two. The reality, however, is that there are already driverless semis on our roadways, and it began with very little fanfare or even notice to the public.

An open-ended question remains about how accidents involving self-driving trucks will proceed regarding liability in general. If someone else’s negligence leaves you injured in a truck accident, don’t wait to consult with a dedicated Tampa truck accident attorney.

Self-Driven Trucks Are Out There

According to 60 Minutes Overtime (from CBS News), driverless semi-trucks are already performing test runs on our highways and byways. For now, these trucks continue to have humans in their cabs to respond and help avoid accidents in the event that a case sensor or computer fails. Our bustling economy fuels the trucking industry, and the landscape of this freight-delivery system appears poised to make a drastic shift toward self-driving trucks. In fact, self-driving trucks – sans backup drivers – are expected to hit our roads this year.

How It Works

If self-driving semis sound more like science fiction than reality to you, then – like most of us – you may not have been keeping up. Very generally, the technology works as follows:

  • Sensors, cameras, and radar equipment are dispersed across the exterior of the rig.
  • These devices feed their collected data to the supercomputer, which is powered by artificial intelligence.
  • This supercomputer controls the truck and, thus, eliminates the need for a driver to be on board.

It sounds easy enough, but how liability will play out when, inevitably, accidents occur remains to be seen.

Truck Drivers Weigh In

Truck drivers are not only concerned about their future employment prospects but are also understandably concerned about the inherent safety (or lack thereof) of this venture. While the trucking companies themselves stand to increase their profits considerably, truck drivers rightfully point out that their own jobs involve far more than simply sitting behind the wheel and making black-and-white operating decisions when on the road.

For example, they ask, what happens when a self-driving truck encounters a police officer issuing safety instructions in a traffic emergency? The companies poised to crank out these self-driving semis say they are working on it – and that the information is proprietary. In the meantime, however, that massive 18-wheeler rushing past you in traffic may not have a person behind the wheel making the life-and-death split-second decisions that are sometimes necessary.

An Experienced Tampa Truck Accident Attorney Can Help

Whether you are injured by a truck driver’s negligence or by a wayward self-driving truck, the end result is the same, and you need one of the dedicated Tampa truck accident attorneys at Tragos, Sartes & Tragos on your side. To learn more, please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 813-223-6405 today.