Deadly Self-Driving Car Accident Being Blamed on Safety Driver's Distraction
Distracted driving has become a leading cause of motor vehicle accidents and those who are involved in any crash with a driver who was distracted at the time of the incident should consult with a Colorado Springs car accident lawyer to get help taking legal action to recover compensation from the negligent motorist.
Many people have suggested that self-driving cars could help to reduce collisions caused by human error, such as distracted driving accidents. However, a recent collision involving an Uber self-driving car shows that – at least with self-driving cars in their current form – drivers are needed to help ensure the safety of other people on the road. If those drivers are distracted, which may be even more likely to happen with a self-driving vehicle that motorists feel they don't need to pay attention to-- the consequences can be fatal.
Uber Safety Driver Being Blamed for Distracted Driving Accident
Reuters reported on a tragic accident involving a self-driving vehicle that occurred recently. The self-driving car was operated by Uber and there was a safety driver in the vehicle who was supposed to be monitoring the car and making sure that it was operating in a safe and effective way.
Unfortunately, the safety driver who was assigned to watch the road and take charge if something went wrong with the car was allegedly not paying attention to the road. While the driver was distracted, the vehicle struck and killed a homeless pedestrian who was crossing the street. The pedestrian was not crossing at a cross walk or signal, but police who are investigating the accident still indicate they believe that the accident was 100 percent preventable had the safety driver been paying attention and hit the brakes on the car before it struck and killed the homeless victim.
Law enforcement officials conducted an investigation into the events leading up to the accident and based on the results of their investigation, it is likely that the distracted safety driver will actually end up facing criminal charges as a result of her conduct in the moments leading up to the crash.
A camera in the vehicle showed the driver looking down at her phone for a long time before the accident happened, with her facial expressions consistent with someone who was watching a movie or television show at the time of the incident. The safety driver has insisted that she was utilizing her phone to monitor an app showing the progress of the vehicle. However, police subpoenaed her records from Hulu at the time of the crash and they determined that her Hulu account was streaming The Voice at the time leading up to the crash and in the seconds before the accident. The streaming only stopped right around the time the collision happened.
It remains to be seen if the safety driver does end up being convicted for her distraction. In circumstances such as this one, those who are responsible for accidents may not only face criminal charges but could also be sued by victims or their families who wish to hold distracted drivers accountable for losses. A Colorado Springs car accident lawyer can provide representation to victims harmed in distracted driving accidents or other collisions caused by driver carelessness so contact an attorney for help as soon as possible when a crash occurs.