Every year, new technologies are introduced to the vehicles traveling on Daytona Beach’s roads, all aimed at making driving both safer and more convenient. However, the concepts of safety and convenience can often be at odds with each other, as those updates which make vehicles easier to drive do not necessarily make them safer. Consumers likely trust that the technological upgrades incorporated into vehicles have been tested and proven to do that which their advertising implies. Yet often the excitement over the potential of new vehicle features may prompt drivers to use them in ways they may not have been intended.
Take the Autopilot upgrade recently introduced into Tesla vehicles. Many drivers have reported being able to take their hands off the steering wheel when using the feature (after all, it is called “Autopilot”) despite the manufacturer’s insistence that it is not intended to take driving control away from the driver. Since the feature’s introduction, several motorists have been killed in accidents linked to its use. The most recent was a man who struck a tractor-trailer in Palm Beach County. Although it has not been confirmed whether or not the driver had Autopilot engaged when the accident occurred, both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have announced their intentions to look into the crash.
In the event that a product defect is found to be at fault in cases such as this, regulatory agencies may demand that the manufacturer issue a recall. Yet even with a recall in place, a manufacturer is not protected from liability. Those looking to initiate liability claims in these circumstances may wish to secure the services of an attorney to assist them in doing so.