Auto Service World
News   February 8, 2023   by Auto Service World Staff

A Comprehensive Guide to Accidents Involving Self-Driving Cars in Virginia


Virginia is a constituent state that is in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles reports that more than 960 people lost their lives on the roadways of Virginia in 2021.

Self-driving technology has completely transformed the transportation industry. Due to convenience and efficiency, nowadays most people prefer self-driving cars.

In 2022, 392 self-driving car accidents occurred in just 11 months. It is important to understand the risks of these cars. If you have been injured, then you should consult a car accident lawyer in Virginia.

In this blog post, we are going to discuss about the accidents involving self-driving cars in Virginia.

The Rise of Autonomous Driving

Autonomous vehicles are also known as self-driving cars. The best thing about autonomous driving is that it will function without human assistance.

Self-driving cars operate with the support of artificial intelligence, cameras, and sensors to travel through roads. Depending on the capabilities of automation, autonomous vehicles are categorized into levels:

  • Level 0: Momentary Driver Assistance: Under this level, cars get short-term driver assistance such as emergency safety interventions, alerts, or warnings. So the driver will be attentive when driving.
  • Level 1: Driver Assistance: This level offers additional assistance to drivers, such as lane-keeping assistance or adaptive cruise control.
  • Level 2: Partial Automation: Autonomous vehicles can control both acceleration and deceleration and steering under specific conditions. So drivers have to be attentive.
  • Level 3: Conditional Automation: In this level, autonomous vehicles will handle most of the driving tasks. But in some specific circumstances, they need human intervention.
  • Level 4: High Automation: Under this level, vehicles will function within predefined scenarios or areas.
  • Level 5: Full Automation: Vehicles will operate automatically without the need for human assistance.

Types of Self-Driving Car Accidents

As technology develops, self-driving car accidents also increase due to several reasons, such as technical problems, human error, and others. The following are some types of self-driving car accidents:

  • Sideswipes
  • Rear-end accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents

The Critical Factors That Can Cause Self-Driving Car Accidents

Even though autonomous technology advances, self-driving cars are risky. They cause accidents due to the following reasons.

Susceptibility to Hacking

Self-driving cars operate with the support of software and internet connectivity. So, there are huge chances of them becoming victims of cyberattacks.

In some cases, these self-driving cars can malfunction due to the hacking. Both of these factors can lead to accidents.

Poor Climatic Conditions

In bad weather, self-driving vehicles cannot operate, particularly when fog, snow, or heavy rain occur. Slippery roads and reduced visibility can cause deadly accidents.

Technological Efficacy

Due to the limitations of technology, self-driving cars are not able to predict road signs and pedestrian actions. This can lead to car accidents.

Information Handling and Connectivity Glitches

Self-driving cars function based on real-time data exchange. Connectivity delays or glitches can affect safety and decision-making.

Testing and Validation Issues

Testing and validation are crucial in the production of self-driving cars. Suppose any errors occurred in the development of self-driving cars, then it could lead to unexpected challenges on the road.

Final Thoughts

Hope our article has helped you learn about self-driving car accidents in Virginia. If you or someone you know is involved in such an accident, then it is important to get legal assistance from a car accident attorney in Virginia.

If the accident occurred due to human error or technical failures, then you need to deal with challenging legal proceedings.

By seeking legal assistance, your lawyer will find liable parties such as software developers, AV manufacturers, or other human drivers. By doing so, they will help you recover compensation for your injuries and losses sustained due to self-driving car accidents.


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