Liability is foggy in autonomous driving case

| Mar 14, 2019 | motor vehicle accidents

With self-driving cars becoming more common, it’s necessary for people to hold companies liable if those vehicles cause injuries. Self-driving cars could come to New York, and they may be there already. That’s why it’s important to keep updated on cases like this one out of Tempe.

In March 2018, a self-driving vehicle being tested by Uber was traveling at around 40 mph when it collided with a woman who was walking her bicycle across a street. It was night, and the 49-year-old woman must not have seen the vehicle coming.

What’s most interesting is that there was a driver in the driver’s seat who was monitoring the drive. The driver is onboard to make sure the autonomous mode is safe enough for the streets. If not, they can take over.

While Uber won’t be liable in this case, the fact is that the driver still could be. Investigators need to look into several factors that could have influenced the collision, such as the vehicle’s speed, lighting conditions and if the driver should have seen the woman crossing ahead of the vehicle.

This is a complex case, and investigations are continuing. The Tempe Police Department previously released a report that the driver had been watching TV behind the wheel when the crash happened. Clearly, if that is the case, it is likely not what should have been taking place during a test drive.

As more autonomous vehicles are being tested in the United States, it’s important to hold companies and their test drivers liable for causing injuries and deaths. If not, pedestrians and others may have to deal with the repercussions without anyone to cover their losses.