In 2019, the governor of Florida signed a driverless cars law that enables these vehicles to operate on Florida roads without a person behind the wheel of the vehicle. Florida is currently one of only three states that have taken this action to help promote the driverless car industry.
Are Driverless Cars Legal In Florida?
At this time, Florida vehicle laws allow driverless cars to operate in the state, but only under specific guidelines.
To operate a self-driving vehicle in Florida, the car must:
- Have a visible and audible warning system to alert passengers of any system failures
- Have an operating system that will pull the car off the road automatically if a system failure occurs
Florida also requires that owners of a driverless vehicle must report any accidents immediately to law enforcement, and the insurance policies on the vehicles must meet driverless vehicle minimum requirements. In Florida, the rates for insurance will depend on if it is a personal or commercial vehicle.
Florida is being used as a test state as tech companies try to master the driverless technologies necessary for these vehicles to keep them operating safely.
States Where Self Driving Cars Are Legal
As of March 2021, Florida, Texas, and Michigan are the only states that allow self-driving cars to operate on their roads at this time.
Twenty-six other states and Washington D.C. have already started making regulations about this industry but have not fully authorized these vehicles to operate on the roads.
However, this is expected to change drastically as the technology develops and more vehicles are ready to use.
Where Are Self Driving Cars Legal To Test?
Most states are allowing driverless vehicles to be tested in their states. This has been very good for the industry because it allows the designers to learn about different road conditions, weather conditions, and road styles. Vehicles operating on long open roads will function much differently than those going through a mountain.
Are Self Driving Cars Legal To Operate Without A License?
It is assumed at this time that anyone who owns a self-driving car will need to have a license to operate the vehicle. This is to ensure that the vehicle can be driven in the event that the self-driving features are disabled in any way. Of course, if you are a passenger in one of these vehicles, a license will not be required.
What The Future Holds
The driverless vehicle industry is very unique and will present many questions that the law must answer as the industry becomes integrated into the public for use. Questions that lawmakers may not have thought of will arise, and current laws and regulations may no longer apply.
It is hard to say what the exact laws will be for these vehicles once their use has become widespread. However, it can be assumed that many of the current vehicle laws and insurance requirements will remain the same for these vehicles.
One big question about driverless cars is should the owner or the manufacturer be at fault in an accident if it was the driverless car’s fault? The answer is currently not clear.
What To Do If You Are In An Accident With A Self-Driving Car
If you’re in an accident with a self-driving car or autonomous vehicle, your initial steps should be the same as if you were in an accident with any other vehicle.
First, ensure the situation is safe. Ideally, both drivers can drive to the side of the road.
Secondly, check for injuries. If there are any, seek medical help.
The third step is to collect information from the other driver (if possible) or have a police report filed.
In the case of autonomous vehicles, this can be tricky if there was no driver and no passengers, or maybe the passenger doesn’t have the drivers info. Owners of autonomous vehicles who aren’t driving or even in the car should contact law enforcement immediately to inform them of an accident and give their info. If you were the driver of the other car, you would want to contact law enforcement as well to notify them and to seek to collect information about the other car.
It’s important to note that you should not admit fault for an accident, even if you initially feel you may have caused the accident.
Lastly, if you require roadside assistance with your vehicle, like getting towed, it’s time to seek that out.
Contact the Florida car accident attorneys at Landau Law
Florida Car Accident Lawyer
Car Accident Blog Posts
Recently a client came in and asked, "I hit an illegally parked car is it my fault?" The answer is not a simple yes or no. There will be several factors that must be considered to determine fault in this situation. Who Is Responsible If You Hit An Illegally Parked...
Being involved in any type of car accident is frustrating. From the minute that the accident happens, life becomes more challenging. This is even more true if you are injured during the accident. Who Is At Fault In A Right Turn Accident? When you want to make a right...
Driving a car in reverse is one of the most dangerous things you can do. No matter how a driver attempts to look behind them, they have a restricted view, whether they actually turn their head, use mirrors, or a backup camera. We rely on sight to drive. When you can't...
Car accidents, as terrifying as they may seem, happen all the time. With the busy lives we lead these days, it's difficult to find time for anything else. One thing we often forget is that driving is a major responsibility that should not be taken lightly- and when...
The new Florida cell phone law strictly prohibits drivers from texting while driving. The law prohibits the use of any handheld device while operating a vehicle, with a few exceptions. Under this law, drivers are allowed to use their handheld devices to notify the...
When a person has been involved in a car accident, it is very common for them to ask one of our attorneys, "which Florida law requires owners and operators of motor vehicles to be financially responsible?" The answer to that is quite simple; the Florida Financial...
There are many questions that a person has after they have been involved in a car accident. How much can I sue for in a car accident? Can someone sue you for a car accident in Florida? How long can someone sue you after a car accident? How long do you have to sue...
When you think of distracted driving in Florida, most people automatically think of texting while driving. While this is the leading cause of distracted driving, it is not the only thing that can take your attention away from the road. Florida defines distracted...