When most DuPage County residents think about car accident risks, they consider some of the more common reasons that motor vehicle collisions take place. For instance, aggressive driving, distracted driving, and impaired driving often make the top of the list for frequent causes of traffic collisions. But what about car accidents that do not result from a driver’s reckless or careless behavior, but rather from a medical emergency?
According to a recent report from CNBC, safety technology upgrades in automobiles may soon be able to detect when a person is having a heart attack and thus may be able to prevent a severe or fatal crash.
Cars Reacting to Drivers’ Medical Emergencies
As the report explains, automobile manufacturers have been developing new forms of safety technology for decades, and “a new wave of safety technology is on the way—allowing cars to react to medical emergencies.” To be sure, both Ford and Toyota have begun work on developing “health sensors” that could be paired with “autonomous driving technology so that vehicles will be able to pull off the road and call for help if they determine a passenger is having either cardiac trouble or a diabetic event.”
To clarify, the developing technology would come with sensors that would alert the vehicle to the fact that the driver was experiencing a medical emergency that would otherwise prevent him or her from safely getting off the road and seeking medical help. More often than you might think, medical emergencies result in serious and fatal traffic collisions.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a study in 2009 that determined 20 percent of motor vehicle crashes resulted from diabetic events that caused medical emergencies, while heart attacks or heart failure resulted in about 11 percent of all collisions.
Illinois Law, Liability, and Sudden Medical Emergencies
Who is liable for a car accident in which a driver experiences a medical emergency? Illinois law has what is known as an “act of God” defense, which says that in cases where there is an “act of God,” including a sudden medical emergency, prevents a driver from maintaining control of a vehicle, it can be appropriate to preclude liability as long as the act of God “constitutes the sole and proximate cause of the injuries,” according to the Illinois case Evans v. Brown (2010).
In other words, as long as the medical emergency was the primary cause of the accident, the driver who suffered the medical emergency may not be liable for resulting injuries. Otherwise, if the driver suffered a medical emergency while speeding, for instance, that driver may still be responsible for damages.
Contact a DuPage County Car Accident Lawyer
Although the researchers at work on the new safety technology believe it remains a number of years away, it could be extremely effective in preventing car accidents caused by medical emergencies. If you have questions about filing a claim for compensation after getting hurt in a traffic collision, you should speak with a DuPage County car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact Mevorah Law Offices LLC to discuss your options for seeking compensation.
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