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Self-driving cars had only minor auto accidents until fatal crash

There has been much hype over the idea that an autonomous driving vehicle could make the roadways safer for fellow motorists. The motivation behind this technology is that human error causes the majority of auto accidents. Sadly, a recent fatal collision in Arizona points to the fact that no technology is fool-proof.

The crash that resulted in a woman's death occurred in Tempe, Arizona, around 10 p.m. on a Sunday evening. According to officials, an Uber vehicle was in self-driving mode as it traveled down a local road. While there was a driver behind the wheel, she purportedly took no actions to avoid striking the 49-year-old victim as she was walking her bicycle across the roadway.

Police stated that it does not appear that intoxication or other impairment was a factor in the crash. However, Uber is now under scrutiny for allegedly hiring a convicted felon to drive for its company. The woman behind the wheel reportedly served several years for attempted robbery. The company was fined by Colorado's Public Utilities Commission for an estimated $8.9 million after it was determined it employed convicted felons, which violated Colorado's laws regarding public safety and ride-sharing programs.

Uber currently employs approximately 300 workers in its self-driving division located in the Tempe, Arizona, area. It is unknown at this time how this fatal accident will effect the self-driving operations both here and throughout Uber's operations. Auto accidents take a tragic toll on the lives of victims and their families. Along with the physical loss of a loved one, there is often the added burden of monetary damages. Families who have suffered a loss due to the negligence of another party may choose to seek compensation for those damages by way of a successfully filed wrongful death or personal injury claim.

Source: USA Today, "Uber self-driving car that killed pedestrian was operated by felon", Bree Burkitt and Ryan Randazzo, March 20, 2018

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