Serious Questions Raised After Shocking Self-Driving Accident in San Francisco
Rideshare apps are only the first stage in a continued evolution away from American car culture. Getting behind the wheel of your own vehicle may quickly become nothing more than a distant memory. First, Uber and Lyft drivers replaced taxi drivers and made transport more affordable and convenient across the city. Today, all human-controlled vehicles are being phased out. In their place, self-driving vehicles are appearing across San Francisco in ever-increasing numbers. These self-driving vehicles are supposed to be safer as they lack human issues such as distraction, intoxication, and speeding. But is this really true? Are self-driving vehicles as safe as they seem?
A recent accident in San Francisco involving a self-driving car is causing people to raise serious questions. This is only the latest in a string of accidents involving self-driving vehicles in the city, and many victims have been seriously injured by these accidents. If you have been injured by an accident involving a ridesharing app or a self-driving vehicle, it makes sense to get in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney in San Francisco as soon as possible, such as Mary Alexander & Associates.
Self-Driving Car Kills Dog in San Francisco
On June 12, 2023, it was reported that a dog was struck and killed by a self-driving, fully-autonomous Waymo vehicle. These vehicles are now being tested throughout the city, and they typically include human staff members who oversee self-driving vehicles. But while these humans are inside the vehicle, they have little control over the software. The idea is that they can grab the wheel when something goes seriously wrong with the software. Unfortunately, things often happen far too quickly for these human controllers to take action. Such was the case when a dog dashed into the middle of the road.
Waymo has released an official statement assuring the public that the crash was “unavoidable” and that it would have happened whether a human or an AI was in control. The angle and speed of the small dog made it impossible to avoid, according to Waymo. The company also stressed that the dog was “identified” by the AI, suggesting that it could have avoided the animal if it had more time to react. One has to wonder what would have happened if it were a small child running after a ball instead of a dog. Would Waymo’s excuse still hold up? Is this self-driving technology really reliable, and is it superior to a human’s reflexes and judgment?
These are just a few questions that San Francisco citizens continue to ask themselves after a string of worrisome “robo-taxi” accidents. The San Francisco Standard reports that there have been six times more Waymo accidents compared to last year. There were also many accidents involving Cruise during this time period. Cruise is another robo-taxi company, and it also uses driverless technology.
Back in April, a Waymo vehicle blocked a fire truck, causing mayhem and delays. This shows how driverless technology can endanger the general public in many ways, including impeding first responders who desperately need to address emergencies.
Suing for a Driverless Vehicle Accident
Interestingly, filing an injury claim for an accident involving a driverless vehicle might actually be easier for victims in San Francisco. Because there is no driver present, victims can eliminate the complexity involved with suing either ride-sharing drivers or the company itself. Injured victims typically have to prove that an Uber or Lyft driver was “on the clock” if they want to sue the company. Suing the company is often the best move because these tech giants are heavily insured and capable of paying out large settlements. Drivers, on the other hand, may have very basic insurance coverage with low minimums.
Proving whether a driver was “on the clock” is no longer necessary for driverless accidents for obvious reasons. This means that injured plaintiffs can hold the companies liable and receive more reliable settlements that fully cover their damages.
Where Can I Find an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in San Francisco?
If you have been searching for a personal injury attorney in San Francisco, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. We are well aware of the worrying number of injuries and accidents that have been caused by self-driving vehicles and rideshare apps. If you have been harmed by one of these accidents, you are fully entitled to explore your legal options. Book a consultation, and we can discuss the specifics of your case and determine the best route toward justice and compensation. Reach out today to get started.