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Self-Driving Car Kills Pedestrian

At 10 P.M. on March 18, 2018 in Tempe, Arizona, a self-driving Uber vehicle hit pedestrian Elaine Herzberg. According to police, the vehicle struck Elaine at 40 miles per hour while she was walking her bike outside the crosswalk. She was rushed to a nearby hospital where she later died from her injuries.

When the accident occurred, the vehicle was operating in autonomous mode and had a human safety driver in the front seat. According to police, there were no indications that the vehicle made any effort to slow or stop before the accident.

Autonomous cars are supposed to serve as safer driving options than humans, as there are no distractions and the cars are required to follow traffic regulations. However, the vehicles cannot account for human error or unpredictability, and therefore cannot react appropriately to these obstacles.

Many companies, including Tesla, have introduced self-driving modes that allow human drivers to take over if something goes wrong. However, a number of states currently allow regulation-free testing of human-free autonomous vehicles, including:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Nevada
  • Tennessee

Although there is a history of accidents involving self-driving cars, this is the first recorded fatality. Additionally, many of these accidents were caused by human error, rather than by a malfunction of the vehicle itself. For example, in 2017, a human driver’s failure to yield caused another driver to hit an autonomous Uber vehicle in Arizona. The Uber vehicle was turned on its side, and police determined the self-driving car was not at fault.

However, Uber is not taking any chances. Since the accident, Uber has halted testing its self-driving vehicles in Tempe, Toronto, Pittsburg, and San Francisco. Uber Spokeswoman Sarah Abboud issued the following statement: “We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident.” Additionally, the National Transportation Safety Board has issued an investigation regarding the accident.

If you have been struck by a vehicle and sustained injuries, contact our New Hampshire pedestrian injury lawyers today at the Injury Law Center®: (603) 883-4100.

Our pedestrian injury lawyers have helped recover millions of dollars in total compensation for our clients and we are ready to work with you. We will analyze your case, help develop a strong legal claim, and fight to get you compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We have the skill and knowledge to help you.

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After my accident I was in so much pain and so confused that I didn't know where to go, so I contacted the Injury Law Center. Joe would sit and he would listen and talk to me and hear what I was saying and what was really going on with me. He explained everything. It really made a difference and gave me a peace of mind. I knew that he knew me well enough to take care of my best interests. He heard the story behind everything and made sure that the insurance company had to take action. Deb Brosnan
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If someone I cared for was going to be going through something like this I would definitely recommend Injury Law Center as your first point of reference. My case went on for a very long time, over a year, and we were on very good terms the entire time. Attorney Russo came to visit me several times in the hospital and brought me things to do in rehab. They were very supportive the entire time. Injury Law Center was able to exceed my expectations and I am able to live comfortably without having to work. Valerie
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I had a car accident that affected my business and my ability to deal with insurance companies was very difficult. Joe stayed the course and we were offered very fair compensation.I think it was because of Joe and the hard work of the team. It was a very long trial but it turned out to be in our favor which we were very happy about. Mat Morello