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Driverless car accidents pose danger for paramedics

driverless vehicles

Paramedics are being warned of the dangers of driverless car accidents and how to take care when assisting injured passengers.

Guidance issued by Waymo – a self-driving technology development company – says that paramedics should keep the door of the vehicle open. If they don’t, the self-driving car may drive off while they’re trying to help injured accident victims.

Further guidance also suggests ways of disabling the vehicle to stop it driving off as well.

So, how worried should we be?

Driverless car accidents a real concern

The issue of driverless car accidents is a real concern anyway. There are ethical issues and liability concerns to address as well.

Who pays? Who insures? Who’s at fault?

But, as well as the concerns that come with driverless tech, there are also concerns over how the emergency services will handle driverless car accidents. Some of the guidance published by Waymo suggests:

  • Keeping a door open;
  • Ensuring the vehicle is in park mode of has the handbrake on;
  • Applying wheel chocks;
  • Calling a hotline to disable the vehicle;
  • Cutting the vehicle’s power supply.

The issue appears to be that, where the airbag doesn’t deploy, the vehicle may drive off after an accident. While paramedics are supposed to be focusing on helping injured victims, driverless tech now means they may be forced to waste time stopping a vehicle from driving off. This can put both the emergency services and the injured accident victims in far greater danger.

Are we really ready to be able to deal with driverless car accidents?

All the evidence suggests that we’re not yet ready to be able to deal with driverless car accidents; let alone driverless cars themselves.

Despite this, in around 36 months, we may see driverless cars on the roads in London. That’s 2021; that’s how soon we are to testing of these vehicles on busy roads.

Are we really ready for it all? In our view, a great deal more needs to be done to ensure that people will be safe from tragedies caused by driverless cars. Driverless car accidents could be a real problem for society in the very near-future.

We’ll be continuing to monitor the development and application of driverless tech in the UK.

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