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NHTSA finds barriers to self-driving vehicle safety

Under a Senate bill approved in early October, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will write permanent safety regulations for self-driving vehicles within the next decade. However, the agency has stated that there are some barriers that it must overcome. Drivers in Illinois may be interested in learning that some auto safety groups are urging more safeguards, which may put development behind for several years.

The NHTSA has requested comments regarding how much research it should conduct before deciding whether it should rewrite certain regulations or eliminate them altogether. Currently, auto manufacturers must comply with nearly 75 safety guidelines, many of which assume that a human driver will be behind the wheel. Research may take years, prompting some to look to Congress for a way to speed things up.

The approved bill, supported by companies like Ford Motor Company and General Motors, is a landmark in legislative history as it will grant exemptions to automakers that deploy up to 80,000 self-driving vehicles every year in the next three years. The NHTSA will be in charge of waiving safety requirements to such corporations. The NHTSA awaits further input regarding the finalizing requirements and plans to release the notice to the public by the end of November.

The number of car accidents continue to rise, leaving injury victims wondering what they should do. The best course of action that victims can take is to hire a lawyer and see if they're eligible for compensation. An attorney can assess a claim, hire investigators to find proof of the other driver's negligence and factor in any contributory negligence on the victim's part. If the defendant acted recklessly, for example, by driving while intoxicated, the victim could even sue for punitive damages. Lawyers can either negotiate with insurance companies or take a case straight to court depending on the situation.

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