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What happens if you get hit by a driverless car?

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

In March of 2018, a stunning revelation about driverless cars created concern among pedestrians across the state. The software designed for Uber’s self-driving cars was not programmed to identify jaywalkers.

There is an increased risk of incidents of injury and death as there is no current regulation concerning the programming of software elements that guide operations.

Who should take the blame?

Driverless cars still have a human driver in the front seat, but this does not guarantee the critical intervention needed to protect pedestrians. This was the case in the Tempe situation, as the driver in the vehicle was streaming a television show at the time the incident occurred. California law states that the driver of any vehicle must yield the right of way to pedestrians using crosswalks or obeying posted signs. However, pedestrians who leave the safety of the sidewalk or curb (where there is no crosswalk) and move into the path of an oncoming car commit a crime as well.

Who should solve the problem?

Some driverless cars are still in testing phases, with programmers and companies working to avoid deadly mistakes like the one in Tempe. However, this does not dissolve the personal injury liability of the companies, manufacturers and drivers taking part in the autonomous vehicle industry. Pedestrians also need to be vigilant when traveling in areas known for using self-driving cars.

The deadly crash in Tempe, AZ fueled the debate about the safety of autonomous vehicles for both passengers or pedestrians and the future of the self-driving industry. Time will tell how the automotive industry plans to address these serious concerns.