Could Hackers Make Your Car Crash?


The threats hackers pose to your personal information have been making news headlines for years. But could hackers soon pose a threat to your personal physical safety as well?

It’s a question many regulators are now asking, as the possibility of interconnected vehicles on public streets comes closer to reality – and with it, the possibility that someone might hijack a linked vehicle’s systems in order to take over the vehicle and potentially cause a car accident.

The office of U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., recently released a report outlining the potential safety risks for connected vehicles in the 21st century.

The report notes that even though private vehicles like cars and trucks look like separate objects, they are increasingly becoming interconnected through wireless networks. These networks are also becoming more and more integrated into key vehicle systems.

These rapid advances in technology have caught the attention of regulators and lawmakers, who are concerned that each new connection opens up the risk of a third party gaining remote access to a vehicle – with potentially dangerous results.

To this end, Sen. Markey and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., recently introduced a bill that would require federal regulators to create safety and policy standards for vehicle security. Markey’s office compared the regulations to “the electronic equivalent of seat belts and air bags,” according to an article in the Detroit News.

Among other things, the bill requires a vehicle’s wireless access points have protection against hacking. It sets standards for testing the resistance of the systems to hackers, ensures information collected by the systems is also encrypted, and requires the system include a way for automakers or third-party service providers to respond in real time if a driver reports a vehicle’s wireless system is being hacked.

The legislation also calls for a ratings system, known as a “cyber dashboard,” that will help consumers choose a vehicle that meets or exceeds safety standards for protection against potential hacker threats.

Product liability laws allow consumers injured by dangerous products to hold manufacturers and other parties accountable for injuries, illnesses or deaths caused by their products. If you or a loved one has been harmed by defective electrical system in a motor vehicle, get help from an experienced Rhode Island product liability attorney. Call Marasco & Nesselbush at 401-443-2999 or fill out a contact form to set up a free legal consultation. We have four offices in Providence, Wakefield, Warwick, and Woonsocket to easily serve you.